Happiness Haven


Around 18 months ago, Mark and I (well, mostly Mark with the hard labour) began planning for and creating a lovely garden. When I first arrived here 10 years ago, Mark had already established a really beautiful, quaint, very English back garden. 5 years ago our back garden began to change into a far more child-friendly garden complete with a 10ft trampoline, a brightly coloured plastic playhouse and a variety of toys occupying space at one time or another. When Sam joined our family almost 4 years ago,  we added a wooden swing set and trikes, cars, a paddling pool and sand box. Our garden was a lovely play space for the children but we had lost any semblance of a grown up garden and place of relaxation.

Over the last 18 months we have begun to reclaim some of that grown up space without taking anything away from the children. We purchased traditional (and very heavy) railway sleepers, repurposed my in-law’s spare patio slabs and created a lovely new raised seating area. Mark was so pleased with his work! It may have taken just over a year but it was done!

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By moving the children’s trampoline to the right side of our garden, next to the fence, we were able to see clearly and knew what our next project needed to be: a Summer House! I’ve been dreaming of a “She Shed” for a while now. I wanted to have a place where the children could play but not a play house per se. I also wanted a space that could become my office which would free up space in our lounge. Cue massive Pinterest scouring! Here are a few of my Pins:

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Mind you I don’t think any of these ideas would meet with Mark’s approval but what he doesn’t know (yet) won’t hurt him. As we began searching the Internet for options, we settled on an 8×8 Corner Summer House. We made the order, slightly tentatively, but were happy with our choice. This is the model we chose…

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We placed our order on Saturday morning and received a call early Monday morning to schedule delivery for the next day! It meant waiting around the house until 5pm but it arrived, albeit in pieces for our DIY prowess. I’m not holding my breath or moving my office supplies yet as I know we still have a LOT of work to do before we can even think about enjoying our new Summer House. I’m secretly calling it our Happiness Haven but don’t tell Mark!

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This is the space we will be transforming to welcome our Summer House! In the back left corner we will be getting a small, far-less-expensive garden shed where Mark can store his garden tools and lawn mower. That will be his Man Space! Then, in the space where the dilapidated and collapsing shed is currently located, we will demolish the shed and begin construction of the Happiness Haven. Wish us luck??
Do you have dreams of your own creative space where you can get away from it all? Tell me more!!

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Thanks to a generous gift from my Grandma, who passed away in April of this year, we are able to bring a little bit of happiness into our garden this year. Thanks Gram! We miss you. 💜

I am entering a competition, sponsored by Tiger Sheds, and hosted by the lovely Amanda Cottingham at The Ana Mum Diary. The winner will receive £250 in vouchers for John Lewis! Fingers crossed! Thank you for the inspiration and push in the right direction!


About Karin

Karin Joyce is a 40-something wife & mother who is helping to spread happiness one smile at a time. Karin is also a blogger and social media addict whom you may also know as Cafe Bebe. American by birth, UK permanent resident by marriage, Karin loves The Mentalist (specifically Simon Baker), her smartphone and lie-ins on Saturday mornings.

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