Chic tips for improving your home’s storage space.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Whilst we can all argue for hours about colour schemes and aesthetic touches, when it comes to storage space, most of us will agree that it needs to be efficient, discreet and tasteful.

Whether you’re into the retro Victoriana stylings, or the most modernist design ideas, issues of storing media, clothing and blankets can often pose a bit of a puzzle.

Thankfully there are some failsafe options from super king size ottoman beds to chic cube stools that can help tackle this issue without ruining the look of your interior space.


Although many homes have moved into the digital era, most of us will still be stuck with the issue of how to store a wide variety of books, DVDS and video games. But rather than relying on the standard pine bookcase, why not check out some of these innovative bookcase ideas that can make such media an essential part of the decor - particularly if you colour-code the spines!

Such an idea can also be applied to storing clothes. For those of us who are still saving up for that coveted walk-in wardrobe, then why not make certain clothes a central part of the bedroom with a sleek metal clothes rack that not only maximises space, but makes getting dressed-up a lot more convenient too!


However, there remain certain items that lack the aesthetic appeal to form a central part of the room decor. All of those surplus winter blankets should definitely be packed away in the summer months, and with so much storage space available in Bedstar’s super king size ottoman beds, it’s a failsafe way to keep everything nice and tidy for the arrival of the colder months - plus they’ll give you a much more luxurious sleeping experience too!

The great thing about beds like this is that they provide an example of the way in which multi-functional furniture can perform a variety of functions whilst saving space. Whether it’s a sofa-bed, or an extendable dining table, there’s been plenty of innovation around to help us all maximise our interior space.

But few space saving solutions are as cute as these multi-purpose footstools that show that it’s not just super king size ottoman beds that can store a wide range of items whilst retaining the design flair of your home!

My top spring cleaning tools.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

So all be it a little late, we have just finished our big spring clean for this year, so I thought I would do a quick post about the best tips and tools that we used.

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Our best purchase this year has been the Karcher jet wash. We have a small cement yard that is shielded from the sun so it turns green and mossy very easily. 





This year we decided it was time to get a really good jet wash to make the job of removing it easier - it worked! It came off far easier than usual and my Husband was happy he has a new toy!

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I am a huge fan of shake n vac! It refreshes your carpets and gives your house a lovely fresh smell, however you have to make sure you have a really powerful cleaner to to ensure it is all removed, otherwise a build up will start in your carpets. 



We recommend a Dyson vacuum for power, here is our Dyson small ball, it is perfect for the job, smaller and lighter than the other ball Dysons so perfect for stair carpets. We couldn't be without ours.


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Next up is a steam mop for the wooden floors downstairs. We find that a regular mop wets the floor far too much, which in the long run would cause a lot of damage, however the steam mop cleans the floor perfectly and all without the use of any chemicals.

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For sparkling clean windows we first clean the panes with a spray on glass cleaner, scrub clean with a car washing sponge and for the finishing touch, we dry it all off streak free with the wonderful invention that is the window vacuum!


Liv would be very disappointed if her sticky decorations were placed on dirty windows!

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What are your top cleaning tips and tools? 






Male Hair Loss and how to help deal with it.

Although my husband has not suffered any hair loss to date, it is a sensitive topic for many men and one that has affected some of our friends to a much greater degree recently.


With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the options currently available to men who suffer from male pattern baldness in the UK, and publish the results of this research on my blog. This isn’t by any means a scientific analysis of course, just some information that I have collected and wanted to share with you, my online friends.

 

Are There Any Really Effective Solutions?

 

In the past, a wig was the only real solution to hide male pattern baldness and the quality of wigs on offer was variable to say the least. Thankfully, for men who suffer from this condition today, the quality of wigs on sale has improved considerably and there are even a couple of non-invasive treatments available that have been shown to be effective at stopping, and in some cases reversing, the process of hair loss in older males.

 

According to stories in the news, up to 50% of men will suffer male pattern baldness at some stage in their lives, which is why the solutions listed below have attracted so much attention in recent years.

 

• Rogaine – The foams and lotions bearing this brand name have one thing in common: minoxidil. This antihypertensive vasodilator can promote hair growth in both men and women but not in all cases unfortunately. Around 40% to 50% of men find it to be an effective solution, depending on which clinical trials and publications you believe. It must be applied to the affected area twice daily and takes from 3-6 months to produce results.

 

• Propecia – Formulated by the pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharpe and Dohme, the active ingredient of this product, which comes in tablet form and is taken orally, is finasteride. It can be purchased online with a prescription and is believed to be effective in up to 80% of cases of male pattern baldness. If you or your partner is not keen on approaching your GP about this issue, you can obtain a prescription on the Internet, from medical professionals such as a Lloyds Pharmacy online doctor. The fact that the whole process of prescribing and purchasing can be completed online makes it a particularly attractive option.

 

• Wigs – As I mentioned above, the quality of wigs for men that are on sale today is far higher in general than was the case just 10 or 20 years ago. For men who do not want to take pharmaceutical products or apply a lotion to their scalp every day of their lives, a good quality wig is a viable alternative.

 

Whichever option you or your partner chooses, I sincerely hope that you are happy with the results and would love to hear about your experiences. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have already tried any of these solutions for male pattern baldness.

Our latest list of home improvements.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Last year we did a lot of redecorating and home improvements last year, including insulating the loft and turning a walk in wardrobe into more of an extension of our bedroom. It was really hard work and led to a lot of decorating but it was definitely worth it.

We are now working our way through the never ending list of jobs, upgrades or improvements we have left. This is the plan for the rest of the year.

1) Paint the kitchen.

Our current paint has cracked on the walls so we are planing on using this Pollyfiller SmoothOver before re-painting, it sounds very easy to use and should prevent us the cost of having to get a plasterer out. Our kitchen is very small so one tub should be enough to complete this job, although how efficient we will be is another matter!


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2) Finish the loft.

We insulated the loft last year which meant moving it's entire contents to one of my Mother in Laws spare bedrooms.

We now need to buy some more stilts to lay the boards on, shelving units for storage and eventually installing double sided ceiling insulation to help keep us warm in Winter and cool in Summer. Unfortunately work up there stopped for several months as my Husband injured his back and shoulder and was unable to continue, but we are now starting to get there slowly but surely.


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3) Upgrade the living room TV.

Okay so we know this isn't essential but we have been meaning to do it for a while now. We have looked at so many different kinds and have finally decided on getting something from the rather fabulous Panasonic 4K TV range. We very rarely go out to the cinema or for a meal anymore so a bigger, better TV would get a lot of use and we deserve a treat! 

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4) Make our yard more Child friendly.

Sadly, our only outside space is a tiny little cemented yard at the back of our house. 

We are hoping to lay some artificial grass to make it a safer space for Liv while still allowing us to access the manhole.




Since we sadly lost our beloved King Charles last month, Liv now has the yard to herself with her own little trampoline, sandpit and outdoor toys, it's just the rough cement flooring that is an issue now.

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5) Replace all of the light switches and sockets.


We currently have white plastic ones at the moment but would love to upgrade them to some lovely matt silver ones, I believe the finishing touches really do make all the difference, don't you think?



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So that's our most recent list. What jobs are you planning on doing next?



Brought to you in association with Panasonic.

Holiday clothes shopping.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Yes it's that time of year again, School is almost over and most people are starting to prepare for their much anticipated Summer holiday!

This time last year we were excitedly heading off to the beautiful Dominican Republic with my Parents Aunt, Uncle and 2 Cousins ready to celebrate my 30th Birthday, now I see few days I turn 31 and we genuinely can't believe how quickly that year has passed us by. All the more reason to make lots of happy memories all over again!

In just a few short weeks we are heading off to a Haven resort with a huge party of our Family, 6 Children and 11 Adults to be exact. With lots a fun to be had on site, I have only stocked up on a few  beach games in the hope that the weather will be necessary enough for a few beach days.

I have bought some bats and soft balls, hoopla hoops, scatch velcro gloves and balls, frisbees and super fun giant beach ball.

Next on the list is toiletries and sun cream (we can hope!) then the fun part, holiday clothes all round!


As you can see, Liv is our little style icon, seen here wearing her bandana and Trespass sunglasses while in the Dominican Republic, she is the complete opposite of me and loves anything pink and the more Girly the better! 

Although having said that, I have really surprised myself by falling in love with this beautiful maxi dress from my favourite place to shop - LovetheSales.com 



This beautiful dress from the Simply Be sale is reduced from £55 to £44 and is available in a range of plus sizes too which is perfect for me. Even my Husband can't complain about this purchase!

With all the sale items you could possibly want, Love the Sales is the first place I look when clothes shopping, after all who doesn't like to save money on the latest fashion?

Wherever you are off on holiday this year, dress well for less.


* Happy holiday shopping everyone! *





How to save money whilst raising money for charity - use my favourite voucher codes!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

If you are anything like me, when you are shopping or booking trips etc, the internet is often the quickest and best place to start, especially if you are shopping around for the best deals available.

Well, allow me to give you a tip! Instead of spending hours searching all over the web for the best deals, let me tell you about one website which can give you access to thousands of the best voucher codes available in just a couple of clicks.

With most people having a smart phone these days, it really couldn't be any easier to save yourself money when shopping online. Simply by remembering to check for any discount voucher codes either on the website, or by downloading the My Favourite Voucher Codes app.


Another tip of mine is to keep a list of gift ideas etc with you, and check various prices in different shops or on websites. By doing this I have often saved up to 50% just by shopping around or using a voucher. Quite often companies will also have discount delivery codes too, you just need to get into the habit of checking every time you buy - every pound counts and it will soon add up.




Not only will you save money by using My Favourite Voucher Codes, but you will also be helping others, as a huge 20% of their net profit is donated to charity! You can even have input into choosing the charity that will be supported, simply by voting on which charity you would like them to help monthly.

With thousands of the most up to date voucher codes available from more than 4,000 of the UK’s favourite retailers, what have you got to lose?!

Happy shopping, and don't forget to pop back and share what deals you found!



Secure your home in time for Summer!

In short, National Home Security May Day encourages Brits to secure their homes in time for summer. The May bank holidays are the perfect time to tackle domestic DIY and renovation projects, and research has revealed that this spring bank holiday, more than two-thirds of Brits will do just that!*

But whether you’re thinking about wallpapering the living room, re-tiling the bathroom, or building a conservatory to create your ‘dream home’, it’s important to think about protecting your property too.

With this is mind, National Home Security May Day, sponsored by home security specialist Yale, will take place on spring bank holiday Monday (30th May), with a run-up throughout May. The campaign will provide numerous home security tips and advice so that we can all ensure our homes are protected in time for summer.


According to research from Halifax, domestic burglaries increase by as much as 10% in the spring and summer months, with a huge 40% increase in outdoor thefts. This is a result of more of us leaving windows and doors open while we’re out in the garden enjoying the sunshine and also leaving valuables, such as bicycles and garden furniture, unsecured outside making them easy pickings for opportunistic thieves on the prowl.

There is also a marked increase in burglaries during summer months due to larger numbers of people going on holiday and leaving their houses empty, unsecure and unguarded. Simple, low cost security options can make a huge difference, and many ‘smart’ security products are a lot easier to fit than you might think.


As part of the May Day campaign, National Home Security Month are offering one lucky person the chance to win £100 worth of Love2shop vouchers and a Yale Smart Home Alarm & View Kit. To get involved, check out the Facebook page by searching for 'National Home Security Month'.

This year, home electronics retailer Maplin is also getting involved and will be offering radio and social media competitions, as well as in-store and online promotions, so keep your eyes peeled.

For more information on National Home Security May Day, visit the National Home Security Month website.

For more information on Yale products and services visit www.yale.co.uk 





*source - The Mirror

Pregnancy incontinence - don't suffer in silence.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

We all know that Women's bodies go through huge changes during pregnancy. As well as the obvious ones - swollen feet, raging hormones and stretch marks - there are other effects that other Women may feel a little squeamish talking to you about.

For example, did you that around two thirds of women suffer from some form of incontinence during pregnancy? Perhaps a small leak when coughing or sneezing or unfortunately for some, a more pronounced leak. There is no need to suffer in silence Ladies!


Personally I have a weak bladder all my life, it still plagues me now at 30 years old, with numerous trips to the bathroom every night. While I was pregnant I found myself using the bathroom even more often -like most Women. Then once the third trimester hit, I suddenly didn't feel so confident laughing freely.

With a little Lady tap dancing on my bladder all day and night, I started to feel that I was losing control and would sometimes leak a little - pretty understandable with an 8lb plus baby using your bladder as a bean bag! Once you find someone to open up to about it, it is surprising to know how many Women suffer with this during pregnancy.

While there are plenty of things you can do to help strengthen up your pelvic floor control after childbirth, it's also important to regain your confidence during your pregnancy and be able to freely laugh again!




I would recommend visiting Hartman Direct where they sell a huge range of incontinence products to help you deal with pregnancy incontinence. The website helps you work out which product would best suit your needs using the handy selector tool. It will ask a few multiple choice questions about your situation, before recommending the products they think would work best for you. 

Products on sale here range from very discreet pads to full disposable briefs and bed pads for those with a more severe issue - all with a variety of absorbency levels. 

Please don't suffer in silence Ladies.

Brought you in association with Hartmann Direct.

Interested in vaping? Check out the Mini Volt 40W starter kit by Council of Vapor.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Ten, almost eleven years ago, my first holiday with my then Boyfriend now Husband. I decided on the spur of the moment that I was going to quit smoking, so I did! Cold turkey! It was pretty tough for a while, and boy do I wish that e-cigs were about then! 

With that I mind I have a guest post for you Today. Enjoy!

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The Council of Vapor is already well known in experienced vaping circles for products like the Vengeance Sub Ohm Tank, the Royal Hunter RDA and its little brother the Royal Hunter Mini RDA.Yep, they have some seriously cool names – the Council of Vapor itself sounds like something from a sci-fi epic – but the firm’s kit itself is every bit as cool.

This is the company’s first starter kit and it looks great. Take a look at the Mini Volt 40W Kit by Council of Vapor here and you’ll find the smart Mini Volt 40W Box Mod with a carbon fibre grip and a black rubberised paint coat. 


When many people think of vaping, they naturally think of “cig-a-like” devices – e-cigarettes that are designed to look and feel at least a little like smoking a tobacco cigarette. This can sometimes be a help to people who are looking to use e-cigarettes to help them quit or cut down on the amount they smoke because they can get that nicotine hit they crave in a familiar way. These types of e-cigs mirror the action of smoking a regular cigarette, with similar hand motions and the nicotine delivered to the back of the throat – albeit in a cleaner vapour format rather than a cloud of acrid smoke.

Many vaping connoisseurs feel that box mods – vaping devices that tend to be rectangular – actually deliver a much better vaping experience than their more traditionally shaped counterpart. Council of Vapor’s Mini Volt 40W is one of the smallest box mods on the market. It fits comfortably in the palm of the hand and can also fit into a handbag or even a pocket without much fuss. It is certainly compact, measuring just 56mm x 35mm x 22mm, but it has more than enough power to pack a punch.

Up until now, if you wanted decent power in such a small size, you would probably have been stuck with a direct-connection mechanical mod that left you quite literally tied to a wall socket power supply. The Mini Volt 40W has a 1300 mAh Internal Battery and comes with three pre-set power modes: Soft, Standard and Power for when you need that extra boost.

The kit also comes with the Mini Volt Sub Ohm Tank. This is another compact piece of kit, with a diameter of just 22mm. It is just enough to hold 2ml of e-liquid, but this is another element that cannot be judged on size alone. The dual adaptive airflow system can be adjusted to provide you with just the kind of vape you like.

It comes pre-installed with a 0.8-ohm coil and there’s a spare, making it perfect for vapers who like the extra vapour produced by sub-ohm vaping. The kit also comes with a spare glass tube and a micro USB charger. In short, it has everything you need all in one place, whether you’re an experienced vaper or just starting out. You can find more options in this site.

Our Easter recommendations - including grown up eggs, gifts and crafts.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

This Easter, I have brought you some of our recommendations for treats, gifts and crafts. I hope you all have a lovely time with your Families!

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The Almondy range is the perfect solution to a delicious yet quick and easy dessert this Easter. As well as being suitable for a whole array of diets - Containing no flour, Almondy cakes are, gluten free and have also been certified as vegetarian, halal and kosher. The the cakes stored in the freezer and defrost, on average, in under 30 minutes.

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Choose from new Cadbury’s Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake with its topping of crunchy hazelnuts coated in lashings of Cadbury’s chocolate.







Almondy Toblerone, which features another classic combo of chewy honey nougat pieces wrapped in delicious milk chocolate.





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Or maybe you would prefer Almondy Daim, a mouth-watering combination of crunchy caramel pieces smothered in chocolate.

We have tried this one and everyone from the 4 year old to the 65+ year old thoroughly enjoyed it. 



Highly recommended for taste and ease for Mum this Easter!

Available in the freezer aisle in most supermarkets, priced at £3.00

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Eggs for the grown ups!



New for Easter 2016 is Guylian’s ever-popular Opus egg, now available in the form of the Opus Egg! Not only do you get a delicious Belgian chocolate Egg but also a 90g selection of Guylian’s luxurious Opus chocolates.


This is my egg this year and I can't wait to tuck in!

RRP £8.00

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If you are looking for the perfect Easter egg gift for a Liquer lover, then look no further! 



Elizabeth Shaw’s Famous Names Whisky Collection Egg includes 8 of the finest liqueur chocolates from world famous Whisky brands including ‘Grants’, ‘Drambuie’ and ‘Teachers’. An Eggstraordinary gift for those that appreciate a little tipple or two.

This is Daddies Easter egg, he was doubly pleased that the egg was made of dark chocolate and came with liquers - his favourite. He can't wait to tuck in.

Available from Asda, Waitrose and Ocado - RRP £10.00

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For the person with a great sense of humour, how about plating this sweet treat up on Good Friday in place of the traditional fish supper?

Made of finest award-winning chocolate from Dorset-based Chococo. 

Harry the Haddock himself is moulded from delicious 43% Venezuelan trinitario bean milk chocolate, while the white chocolate "chips" - served in a paper cone - are made even more appealing by being drizzled with dark chocolate. The meal is finished off with a side portion of “peas” (lemon and lime jellybeans), to make a complete meal served in a newspaper print takeaway tray.

Available from www.buyagift.co.uk for £12.99

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Something different:


For the very little ones, these Zippy bandana bibs from are just adorable! 

I love the cute bunny design and the duck one is just adorable! Perfect to get into the Easter spirit - and too dirty with chocolate of course!

We used lots of these fun bandana style bibs to when Liv was little. Not only do the accessorize your little ones' outfits but they also keep you little one drier for longer, helping protect against dribble rash.

They are made from a super absorbent fleece, which is topped with 100% soft and comfortable cotton. They also have 2 different size nickel free popper fastenings, so the bib fits your baby well as he/she grows (0-2 years) Washes well. Retains shape. Priced from £3 each
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Keep your Kids active this Easter with LeapBand from Leap Frog.


If like in our house, your Children get far too many Easter eggs, why not consider getting them a small gift? We recently bought Liv this amazing Leapband and she absolutely loves it! 

This "smart" watch for Children is not only great fun but is also an activity tracker. It's aim is to encourage Children to actively move around more and carry out fun tasks in order to look after their virtual pet.

For example they could be asked to hop around like a frog or wiggle like a worm, the idea being the more active they are, the more rewards they get to unlock new levels and activities. 

Progress is shown in the form of an energy bar on screen so the Child can easily see it filling up and their work paying off - this in itself is great fun!

Liv loves hers and plays happily with it by herself. An excellent gift idea!

Suitable for ages 4 - 7 and available in Blue, Green, Pink or Orange.

Priced at £24.99


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Disney’s Frozen Magnetic Board from Clementoni.



This Magnetic board has been a big hit in our house. Simply create a picture and then wipe clean - no mess, no fuss! Complete with a carry handle and three shape stampers, your little ones will have hours of creative fun with this toy. 


Recommended age 4+ Priced at £12.99

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Severin egg boiler.



This egg boiler allows you to cook up to 6 eggs in one go. Simply set the cooking time based in the hardness of the yolk, add the correct amount of water with the provided measuring cup, pierce the bottom of the eggs with the bottom of the measuring cup and you are ready to go! 

The buzzer will sound when the time has run out and your eggs are ready - it really is that simple!

The non-stick coated hotplate makes it easy to clean after you have enjoyed your eggs too. Definitely a hit in our house!

Priced at £29.99, available from www.HomeSpares.co.uk


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Easter LEGO.




LEGO has launched a new set especially for Easter - Painting Easter Eggs.

Perfect to keep Children busy with something that stimulates their imaginations, it will also last a lot longer than chocolate!


Available for £6.99 exclusively from Tesco.


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Yankee candles for Easter.



There is a Yankee candle for all occasions, Easter included!

As always, Yankee have a fantastic range, including a sampler set and a pretty pink jar called Bunny Cake - adorable and obviously they smell amazing too. Prices vary from £10.99 for the sampler set to £17.59 for a large Bunny Cake jar - a price to suit all budgets.
I have my fingers crossed the my Husband has picked up on my not so subtle hints that I am ever so sad my Mother Day candle has come to an end, and buys me a lovely Easter replacement - I can hope right?!

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Easter crafts with Asda.


Asda kindly sent Liv a selection of Easter crafts, including an Easter hat with some decorations like chicks, stickers and ribbons to complete an Easter bonnet. While we haven't had a chance to make it as yet she is very much looking forward to doing it next week.

She has been able to complete the super cute chick glasses however - all by herself too so she was very proud indeed.

The cute little Lamb bag is stuffed with some yellow tissue paper and ready to go for the egg hunt on Sunday.

Thank you Asda!




Disclaimer - some of the above items were sent in consideration for this feature, however all opinion is my own.