The benefits of buying a used kitchen may not have crossed your mind before. I remember dreaming as a child that one day I would have the most amazing kitchen. I lived in small houses where sometimes the kitchen would also be part-lounge and part-dining room. I was sure I would have a luxury home one day and spent time looking at kitchen advertisements quite a lot.

Kitchens were and remain an expensive outlay for the home. There are the products themselves and fitting costs too. My cousin was a kitchen fitter and made a small fortune.

As I watch property shows, I notice how often the house viewers focus on the kitchen as the heart of the home. Many talk about changing the kitchen immediately they purchase the house. I imagine this is quite stressful when you have already paid a lot of money for a new home and the associated legal costs.

The Benefits Of Buying A Used Kitchen

So the first obvious benefit of buying a used kitchen is that you will save money. With the money you have saved you can focus on making some magical memories for your family perhaps with a holiday. The good news is you don’t have to compromise on quality when you go for the used kitchen option. We buy used cars without a second thought so why not apply that same logic to our kitchens?

Private householders and showrooms are the sources for used kitchens. Imagine getting an ex-display model at a bargain price or benefitting from someone who likes to stay bang up to trend and changes their kitchen look often. Savvy landlords have made use of used kitchens for years.

My second big argument for considering a used kitchen is that you will be helping the environment. We have so much waste and you only need to visit a local tip to see so much good stuff going straight towards landfill. Be part of the eco-friendly movement and buy a used kitchen adding your own personal touches such as funky handles or a repainting job.

Finally, if you buy a used kitchen, you wait less months and years to ring the changes and to cook up a storm.




Cuddle Fairy

My dream house is not too unlike the one I live in. I have had so many house moves over the years so I have learned to know what I like and also to know what works for us as a family. It is always good to dream a little because then you can make those plans come true when time and money allow. Here are some things I would like to add to my home.

Dream House

Indoor swimming pool

This is a bit of a standing joke in our family. Whenever the children don’t get what they want immediately and start moaning, I will say that I want an indoor swimming pool but we don’t always get what we want in life. On a serious point, I think it would be great to have a swimming pool sanctuary in an area of the home to relax and keep fit in. One day it will happen and if I have to compromise then an outdoor one will do.

Family-friendly flooring

Floors are the bane of my life as they can get dirty in an instant especially when you have children and pets. So in my dream home, I would remove all carpets for starters which in my opinion just suck up the muck. Give me tiled floors please and right throughout the home.

Bi-fold doors

I am a huge fan of property shows on the television. A few years ago we started hearing about the wonder of bi-fold doors. As someone who needs a lot of natural light to enhance my mood these really appeal to me. I love how they enable you to bring the outdoors in especially in the warmer months.  I notice from Three Counties Windows that you can add colour or wood effects to the bi-fold doors so you can ensure the doors fit in with your interior design too.

A bedroom of my own

I was brought up as an only child really. I had brothers but they were much older so away for most of my time in my childhood home. I loved the sanctuary of my own bedroom with its totally over the top wardrobes, a desk my Dad made to my design and my sliding door which Dad made for me after I decided it would be glamorous to have one. I spent a lot of time in my room dreaming and reading. It was home to my precious things like my foreign doll and stamp collections. It was where I listened to music. Like many wives and mums, I crave space a lot. Recently I have put a bed in a downstairs room so I can have a little escape haven but I would like to have a proper bedroom just for myself one day.

The perfect office

I have office space here but I would love to add lovely things to it like a vintage leather-bound desk with a retro lamp and a globe drinks cabinet in the corner.

As I say you have to dream and a lot of these options for my dream house are absolutely in reach or something to work towards positively.

What would your dream house look like?



Cuddle Fairy


What does it feel like when you have to give up a beloved career due to health issues? How do you move forward positively? If you are thinking of changing career or have challenging health issues currently, I hope you will take inspiration from Emma’s amazing story.

Changing Career


Please tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years.

I was loved by my family and bullied by my peers. It made for a difficult childhood but as I grew it created a strength in my me I would have not had without such experiences.

What was your first job?

I worked a number of jobs through my college and university years, incredibly, being a police officer was my first real career. I went to university thinking that I wanted to work in the social care field.  During my university course one of my fellow students was a police inspector. I was impressed that the police service were paying and giving him time to complete a degree and began to ask lots of questions about his job.  He invited me to spend a few days with his shift, I took him up on his offer, went out with his team and became hooked.  I knew there and then that being a police officer and serving the public was my future.

What did you learn from your time with the police force?

Being a police officer is an honour. Often through no fault of their own you enter the most personal part of people’s lives. Being a police officer taught me that life is precious, it’s a gift to be cherished.  No one rings the police to tell them about the amazing things that have happened to them. Instead, you only ever hear the bad. For many police officers this taints your vision of life and has done mine on occasion but now I understand that having seen such darkness I can appreciate the light and its brighter than ever.

Please tell us about your health challenges? What was the impact on your police career?

I was diagnosed with a rare brain condition called chairi malformation. It is basically a hernia in the hind brain, it causes the bottom of the brain to extend into the spinal canal causing an obstruction of brain fluid.   I collapsed at home one evening and was told that I needed to have brain decompression surgery.  It took about a year before I could have the surgery because of the NHS waiting time.  The added complication came from needing both a ward and an intensive care bed, if an emergency took the intensive care bed, my surgery was cancelled.

Throughout this time my symptoms progressed. I had intense headaches that are so far away from any standard headache I had experienced. It was a pulsing in my brain that extended out into my temples causing searing pain and constant fog.  My hernia affected my arms and legs which would collapse without a moment’s notice, often leaving people ringing an ambulance for me.  My eye sight was affected, leaving me feeling dizzy with blackouts and I could permanently see black spots, in the way you see small midges in the summer.  Work put me on reduced hours and I would attend when I could and often didn’t manage to get in at all.  I had had my driving licence removed by this point and was reliant on public transport and an electric bike to get to work.  It was difficult but I managed the best I could.

The day of my surgery eventually arrived and I prayed as I was put to sleep, I contracted meningitis following my surgery so my recovery took much longer than expected. I walked with a stick for many months following my surgery and slowly started to regain my strength.  The police sent me for medical testing and it was decided that they would release me early from my service due to my medical needs.  My surgery saw them remove part of my spine and skull and clearly the risk associated with that was too great for me to return to full police duties.

How did you feel to lose your career in the police force?

I am a very optimistic person, I like to find the silver lining wherever I go. Once I had acknowledged that my career would come to an end I started to plan my exciting future.  I had been through hell and back but that brought with it a spark of light.  It was a light so bright that I knew I had my future in front of me.  Not many people get to start again but that’s exactly what this situation had done for me.

How did you decide what to do next?

A great friend who owned a training company invited me to attend the coaching and mentoring course they were running. I was instantly hooked.  Coaching felt very natural to me as many of the skills were similar to what I had developed in the police service.  I was an advanced interviewer, as I worked in the child protection team and interviewed people about complex cases.  Coaching and interviewing seemed to go hand in hand for me.  I had also been a trainer in the police, they had allowed me to study for my post graduate certificate in education and I delivered police management and diversity training for about 9 years of my service.  With that my friend offered me a job delivering their coaching and mentoring course.  I loved it.  Delivering and enhancing this training made me feel alive and I eventually made the decision to start my own business.

Who supported you through this challenging time?

My family and friends were hugely supportive to me, practically, physically and emotionally. But one organisation who helped me beyond belief was the Ann Conroy Trust.  A charity supporting people with brain hernias.

What do you do now?

I now am the director of my own business, considered coaching and training.

I teach people how to be coaches and mentors, partnered with the CMI who approve my courses. I also deliver bespoke training programmes as well as covering diversity training and specialising in trans awareness, work which I started in the police service and vowed to continue with.  I have just been to the middle east teaching negotiation skills and conflict management training. I get all over the place.  I also empower people to live the life they want by coaching them to create new patterns of thinking so they can power through the blocks that hold them back.

What words of wisdom would you give to a woman who is facing a huge health issue?

Having a huge health issue is frightening, for you and those around you. However, it is often not until you have seen the darkness that you see the true light.  Stay strong because when you look back you will see that the difficult time you have had will bring many new opportunities, but you need to keep looking and you can’t do so with your head down. So, keep your head up and feel the light.

What tips would you give to a woman who wants to set up a business but lacks the confidence to do so?

I always ask my coaching clients, what is the worst that could happen. The reality is never anywhere near the story we create. Situations don’t have meanings. We create meanings in our mind.  You are the master of your own story, so tell yourself a new story, one in which you achieve and shine in this world. Then you will live the story you have created.

Is there anything you would recommend to a woman to inspire and motivate her?

I love TED talks. They are inspiring, educational and motivational.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” Anais Nin. Take time to step into other peoples shoes so you can see through their eyes and by doing so you will develop compassion so strong and deep people will want to connect with you. This guides my rules of life, we are all here for the same reason and if I can help people with that goal then we all feel good. Open your heart and live your life with passion.

Have you considered changing career? Are you inspired by Emma’s story?

Do you have an inspirational woman in your life?

Sharing so openly takes a huge amount of courage so please do consider sharing this post by clicking one or more of the buttons below.

If you would like to share your story on this blog please get in touch.



My Random Musings

Making eco-friendly choices is important. It took me a while to realise this. I was very late to the party in caring about the environment. Of course, having children makes you wake up and want to protect the planet and their future at least a little bit more than previously.

Eco-Friendly Choices

So why is it important to make eco-friendly choices and how can we do it?

It’s selfless

Well it isn’t quite selfless because protecting our environment makes it better for us as well as everyone else. However, it does mean you are thinking of others and that is always a great thing to do and brings its own rewards. We can live in our own tiny worlds or think about the bigger picture and take baby steps to make things better.

It connects us to future generations

Whether we are parents or not, there will be future generations and why should they have a worse time of it than we do?

It’s easy to do

Making eco-friendly choices often means little but powerful changes such as deciding what we buy to eat or how we deal with our rubbish.

It’s better for you and your family

Going green might mean growing your own food and buying locally. So you will be eating healthily and having a strong sense of community for starters. If the worst happens and your income decreases, you have a little safety net knowing you have a degree of self-sufficiency in place.

It’s social

When we work on a common cause we almost always make friends as a bonus. Get to know the stall-holders at your local farmers’ market. Join a recycling group, participates in things like freegle and friends will come your way who share your values.

It’s a powerful way to save money

I used to be a debt counsellor. I still remember a family who became self-sufficient and they paid off their debts so speedily in comparison with other clients as they were not at the supermarket and grew their own food. They also made their own clothing. Some eco-friendly choices like cloth nappies seem more expensive at the outset but save you money in the long run.

Get inventive when making eco-friendly choices for your home, business or school. For example even things like noticeboards and whiteboards can be eco-friendly as I discovered when checking out the Sundeala website. As you can see their products look the business but are also helping the environment and there’s a lesson in that.

Have you made eco-friendly choices? What do you get out of doing so?










My Random Musings

When it comes to your child moving out of the home to go attend college, there’s nothing that can really prepare you. Their first year, of course, will be a breeze – they will likely live in student accommodation, be able to meet friends, and in some cases won’t even have to worry about cooking. Their first year leaves you with less to worry about than their second, because it is in their second year that they finally move out on their own.


Living in student accommodation is entirely different than renting a house or apartment. It means they have to learn how to co-habit with their roommates, how to clean, how to cook, how to pay utilities bills and rent and how to be independent. Student accommodations are a great first step, but it is only once they move into their first rented apartment or house that your children will have really experienced adulthood.


As a parent there is quite a lot that you can do to help them make this transition, starting with the move. It is important that they are the ones who choose their roommates, contact a local real estate agent, and choose their property. These are very big steps to take and should be taken on their own. It is after they arrange viewings that you can start to help:


Give Them a List on What to Look For

Viewing properties on your own for the first time is daunting enough, and it can be easy to miss very key details. That is why you should give your son or daughter a list of what to check for that they can have on them when they house hunt. Flushing the toilets, checking for mold, if the windows are doubled paned, and so on are all crucial when it comes to deciding a flat, and having a handy checklist in front of them can help them make a good decision.


Help Them Move In

When it comes time to move in, there are so many possibilities. You can likely move in furniture from home, along with more personal belongings from their room to make their new accommodation homelier. Rather than stress yourself out on how you will move, say, a couch, you should hire professionals from Suddath Jacksonville. They can pack up everything that your child needs from your home to make their new home feel like theirs.


Explain How to Pay Bills

Though utilities companies aim to make paying bills as easy as possible, it can still be daunting as a young adult, which is why you should work with your child so that they know how to pay these bills. This includes suggesting signing up to third-party companies so that you can pay rent or bills equally amongst the rest of his roommates, so that no one will ever owe anyone else money.


Moving to your first real apartment is huge. It can also go horribly wrong if you choose the wrong place. That is why you as the parent should help your child out to make the transition as smooth as possible.

My Random Musings