As you may know we moved into a new (old) house back in July and since then we’ve taken the back off the house and are now in the process of building a new kitchen extension. We thought it best to get this work done straight away to save us unpacking and then packing up again. This means that since July most of our things have been in storage, and for most of that time we’ve been without a full working kitchen – because well… we ripped it out! Luckily we have a small working kitchen upstairs (next to the bathroom) but we’ve still been living on quick, easy meals that only require heating up – and make the least amount of mess and washing up. It’s been a funny old time but on the whole it’s been fun.
I’ve really enjoyed the panning stages and being on site everyday to talk to the builders and answer their questions. I think it’s important to be around as much as possible when you’re renovating a house because things crop up every day and you need to be there to make sure things are done the way you want. I know that had I not been around (as much as I have) lots of the decisions would have been taken out of my hands.
Here are some of my top tips for living on a building site…
- Don’t worry about the mess and certainly don’t worry about cleaning! Tidy up yes, but forget the cleaning for now.
- Try to project manage your build so that you’re not without water or heating for too long. We’ve only been without water for a few hours per day and never over night.
- Look at your job list and priorities according to what’s more important to you. For me the kitchen is the most important room in the house, which is why we’re doing it first.
- Try to always have at least one working bathroom in the house at all times.
- Make it fun for the kids, you don’t want them to be unhappy because that will bring everyone down. We pretend that we’re on a big camping adventure and eat on the floor ‘picnic-style’ most nights, which they enjoy.
- Convenience food is a must! Find the ones you (and the kids) like and embrace them! We love the new Italian range from Marks and Spencer best. They give a taste of familiarity and comfort even when everything around us is unfamiliar and messy. It’s important to find little luxuries where you can and for me this is definitely one!
Our favourites are…
M&S Pancetta Carbonara
Italian made spaghetti with a rich, parmesan sauce, roasted Italian pancetta and shavings of parmesan cheese. It’s deliciously creamy and so comforting.
M&S Roasted Mushroom Risotto
Italian sourced carnaroli rice with portobello mushrooms and a rich silky, truffle and mascarpone cream. This is my personal favourite, I could eat this every night and never get bored!
M&S Crab Linguine
Italian linguine with sweet Atlantic crab, dressed with parsley and a mild chilli sauce. This gives a touch of luxury to any night of the week and tastes amazing!
M&S King Prawn Bucatini
Italian made pasta with marinated prawns and a light chilli dressing, finished with sweet Santarella tomatoes. This is the kid’s favourite and one I find myself buying on a regular basis with some M&S garlic bread.
I love the fact that M&S have been working with the same Italian family run businesses for generations to bring a truly authentic taste to their Italian ranges. Their delicious fresh filled pasta (which I LOVE) is made in Verona, Northern Italy and all of their pasta sauces are made by a small family business in Calabria, Southern Italy. They’re classically made using locally sourced ingredients for the best possible taste. You can’t argue with that and you certainly can’t argue with the taste!
Disclosure: I was sent a voucher (to buy these products) in exchange for this post but everything I’ve written is true, I absolutely Love this range!