More decorating - winter interior trends 2016.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

As many of you will know, we have spent the best part of the last 18 months slowly decorating and re-furnishing various parts of our house.

As we have updated other rooms I have began to dislike the living / dining room decoration more and more. We have had the current wallpaper up for around 5 or 6 years and quite frankly I am sick of seeing it! While I still love the dark teal colour, the paper that I spent weeks searching for and a ridiculous amount of money on, now looks dated I feel. Hubby doesn't agree, but I'm 99% sure that is purely down to the thought of changing it!

While I am not big on keeping up with trends as such, I do feel we have outgrown this style now so I have started to look around for inspiration. While searching I came across this gorgeous picture in an article on Winter interior trends from My Voucher Codes.

This section in particular stood out and explained why I feel our decoration looks dated.

"Strategic Pops of Colour"
"A few years ago, the trend was to make a bold statement by painting vibrant colours to walls to make them stand out, but the trouble with this is that it can look dated quickly. 

This year we are seeing the trend of adding strategic pops of colour in smaller quantities with the use of coloured accessories and furniture.
Colourful furniture, throws and cushions can add the right amount of colour into a room without making it look gaudy, and the best thing is that you can change the theme of the room more easily to reflect your mood, the season and your taste without having to get the paint rollers out."

This makes complete sense and we have a lot of teal ornaments, candles, cushions etc to add the pope of colour here and there.

I am now trying to decide whether to look for a wallpaper I like or get the chimney breasts skimmed so they are smooth enough to just be painted. I absolutely love the textured look of the grey wall in the picture though - too many choices! 

And I already know what Hubby will say, the easiest one is always best!

Pregnancy incontinence? Don't suffer in silence.

Friday, 23 September 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.

Helping keep your mind and body healthy.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Back when I met my Husband 12 years ago, due the 10 year age difference, we used to joke how one day I would be skipping alongside him while he walked along with his stick. Sadly  (for me!) that has definitely not turned out to be the case.

While my recently turned 40 Husband is completely fit and healthy, I most definitely am not!

Since we met all those years ago I have been hospitalised numerous times, had various procedures and at times looked like a used dartboard from all of the blood tests.

So far I have been diagnosed with PCOS, Vertigo and severe IBS. I am also awaiting confirmation that I have arthritis in my right foot and a terrible hereditary condition which my Mum has (and likely her Mum too) called Fibromyalgia.

If you haven't heard of Fibromyalgia - as we hadn't until Mum was diagnosed - it is described as "a rheumatic condition characterized by muscular or musculoskeletal pain with stiffness and localized tenderness at specific points on the body"

In short she is in constant pain, of varying degrees in all parts of her body and muscles. The condition has no cure and no treatment is offered on the NHS other than painkillers.

My Mum has also suffered terribly for years with her back and misaligned spine but has always been told nothing could be done to help her. 

Once she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia too, and told there was no cure, she started looking into what she could do to help herself as it became clear that she was stuck in this situation.

She can't do any strenuous exercise due to her back, spine 

and arthritis in her foot, but has found that swimming helps to keep her more mobile and to loosen up her tense muscles. 

She has also been visiting a Chiroprator - twice a month who, as she describes it - pops everything back in place for her. She leaves his office able to walk without a limp and not in as much pain, however over the coming days and weeks her limp slowly returns and pain worsens until she visits him again. 

She truly believes he is nothing short of a miracle worker!

So if you are looking for a Chiroprator in London, check out ML Chiropractic.

Have you had any experiences with Chiropractic treatment? Please do share.

They currently have a fantastic chiroptactic offer, which allows you to get 50% off your first consultation with the following code ‘mlc0050′

Where to start when planning your wedding.

As some of you lovely lot know, the Mr and I are celebrating our 8the wedding anniversary this Weekend. I genuinely can't believe how quickly it has gone. It doesn't seem like 5 minutes ago I was that 23 year old giddy with excitement, sporting a sparkly new engagement ring, looking for wedding venues and inspiration morning noon and night.

A lot of my Friends and some Family have married since we did, and when asked where to start I always advise the same thing - the venue.

You can't really choose anything until you choose the place you will be getting married and having your wedding breakfast and reception in.

The next question is always why? Think about it, say you want to go wedding dress shopping first and fall in love with a gown with a huge cathedral length train, only to later decide on a small intimate ceremony in a room that only fits 30 people? Same applies for flowers and decorations, as tempting as it may be and as sure as you think you are at the time, it may well turn out to be something you regret once your venue is selected.

My personal advice is to find a trusted website like Venue Finder where you can pop in all of your details and see what is available for your location, party size or budget.

They even have a huge range of absolutely stunning destination venues too.

Back when we were planning our wedding we were very tempted by the option of a destination wedding but eventually decided that as some of our family members were of ill health, we would stay in the UK. However Mr Life with Liv suggested a destination renewal for our 10th wedding anniversary, I'm sure he thinks I have forgotten but no such luck I'm afraid!

I have had a quick browse a couple of times and have already absolutely fallen in love with Tunisia.

How beautiful does that look? If I'm honest I doubt we will end up renewing our vows but a second honeymoon would be lovely!

We went to Cyprus for our honeymoon, where did you go?

The finishing touches to our bedroom.

Does anyone else find that their bedroom gets neglected? If something needs storing it goes in our room, the suitcases from holiday for example are still lying around until I can get the Hubby to climb the rickety ladder to the loft and put them away.

Also after many years of decorating and redecorating the rest of the house, our bedroom was still left with the plain white painted walls that were there when we moved in.

Last year after much deliberating on style/colour/bedding and buying all of the accessories, we finally had a plan in place and decided to go ahead with decorating - 8 years after buying our house!

We chose this luxurious aubergine and cream wallpaper for the main feature wall and warmed up the other walls with some lovely cream paint.

The only problem now is we don't think our pine wooden bed and furniture are looking there best after a house move and 12 years of use.

We are thinking we would like something more modern like this beautiful example from Iwardrobes.

Supplying beautiful fitted wardrobes in London, I think the difference they could make to our bedroom would be huge. We currently have a huge chunky 4 door pine wardrobe which has seen better days to say the least!

I can see that these would not only utilise the space we have better but also modernise the room while making it lighter and seem larger too, win win!

The best car for new drivers.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Now I am starting to learn to drive - at the ripe old age of 31 - I have been getting a lot of advice on the best first family car to buy.

This is all very welcome as I don't mind admitting that I am absolutely clueless about anything and everything relating to cars.

You see my Husband doesn't drive either so I have no experience at all of what size or type would suit us, which brands are most reliable, the difference between petrol and diesel and don't even get me started on how I wish I had paid much more attention to my Dad (who is a mechanic) when I was growing up, but  I'm afraid I was a stereotypical Girl who far preferred applying make up and buying new clothes to helping him mend the cars!

Anyway, I digress. For the last few weeks I have been doing some research based on the advice I have been receiving from Family and Friends and I have found that Skoda's are very highly recommended for new drivers.

A Friend of mine from Scotland has been helping me search and found an excellent local Skoda dealership selling both new and used cars in Scotland so I think it may be time for a visit! 

This is our favourite so far, a quality second hand Skoda Citigo which costs less than £45 a month (PCP)

We have decided we would definitely like 5 doors as it makes things far easier when getting Liv in and out of her car seat.

It is also important that whatever we buy is isofix compatible so that we can easily and quickly install Livs seat and also my Neices when she comes to stay, saving a lot of fiddling around and stress too!

If anyone has any more advice I would love to hear from you!

Learning to drive at 31.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Is it ever too late to learn? I am 31 now and have never even had a driving lesson.

I got my provisional at 16 and my Dad let me drive his car around an empty car park but ither than that my only experience of cars is as a passenger- even then I am pretty useless, I never pay attention to which route we are taking, I just get in the car and eventually arrive at the destination!

I constantly swing between how much easier it would make our lives (my Husband doesn't drive either) amd if I could actually learn to do it. I often joke that my pregnancy "baby brain" never left but I genuinely don't seem as able to soak things in as easily as when I was Younger.

I know it is the best thing for us and would make a huge difference in things as simple as doing the food shopping, it is an absolute nightmare on the bus and I'm not a huge fan of online shopping as the fresh things are always questionable in my opinion.

Anyway the other bonus would be getting to choose a pretty car - woo hoo!

I have always been told that Peugeots are very reliable cars so after a quick search online I came across Robins and Day who's website have this handy search option which is perfect for novices like me.

I am actually debating getting a car to learn in. I mean if it is sitting outside waiting to be used surely it will spur me on to pass quicker right?

Although going from looks I absolutely love this - it is in my favourite colour too!

How old were you when you started driving lessons and passed your test?

Practical gift ideas for our Anniversary.

So this may not be to everyones taste but my Husband and I have struggled for a couple of years to find gift ideas for each other or come up with any for ourselves for that matter!

Instead we have now agreed to compile more practical ideas. For example, we are looking to upgrade some pieces of furniture to solid oak which is very pricey, we are both more than happy to combine Birthday gifts for example and buy something we want for the house.

With our wedding anniversary coming up at the end of the month, we have booked to go out for a lovely 3 course meal at a well known Italian restaurant to add some romance o the occasion and have also been discussing gift ideas.

This year Barry has asked for an upgrade on his battered plastic tool box to a big rolling tool chest.
I have found one in the sale at SGS Engineering that is an absolute bargain as it's reduced from £210 to just £75!

What he doesn't know is this is a good gift for me too because he will have no excuse to leave tools lying around in the outhouse for me to stub my toe on! Win win!

I am torn between a small dressing table for the bedroom - which Liv will probably steal anyway, and a really beautiful mirror for the living room. The one we have is very plain and has been spray painted once to match the colour change. I feel that a lovely bevelled glass rectangle mirror could really make a big difference.

What do you think about practical gifts and what would you choose?

Top Places to Visit on the Sicilian Coast with Family

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Sicily is one of the great holiday destinations for families.

It offers some of the best sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, magnificent coves and bays, breathtaking coral reefs, a diversity of flora and fauna, and some of the worlds best landscapes. Thus, it is not surprising that it was called “Jewel of the Mediterranean” by the ancients.

Regarding the accommodation for families with children, there are several beautiful villas in Sicily that you can easily find through online platforms like These come with all the amenities and children entertainment at very affordable prices, making your vacation an absolute blast. Nonetheless, nothing should stop you from going out and experiencing the wonderful places that the Sicilian coast offers. If you do, it would be best to try to avoid August if you don’t want to get lost in the crowds or overheat in high temperatures. From October to November and March to April, Sicily is your family-friendly destination.

Moving counterclockwise from Palermo, you will be greeted by Mondello’s sandy beach which has always been a favourite destination of people from the capital. It can be a bit crowded in peak season, so it is best to visit between September and June. Moving west, you will arrive at the sandy beach of Castellammare del Golfo which begins from Scopello and LoZingaro Nature Reserve offering scenic views, beautiful coastal walks, clear waters, and a series of pebbly coves.

Traveling further west and you will bewelcomed by the long sandy beach of SanVito Lo Capo, arguably the best in Sicilywhich is popular to both tourists and localsof Trapani. Moving further, you will witness the saline lagoons between Trapaniand Marsala.

Further down the coast to the south-eastern most tip of Sicily is an endless spread of more sandy beaches from Scoglitti to Marina di Modica. Then the southern-most point of Sicily is the Isola delle Corenti that offers a very Africanvibe. And if you want to watch migrating flamingos and nesting turtles, move further just around the point at the Vendicari Nature Reserve.

Have you ever been?

Back to school stationary essentials.

Friday, 2 September 2016

With back to school school just around the corner, and Liv starting school full time next week, I thought I would share with you some of our essential stationary buys to help both you and your little one.

Liv went to Nursery last year but before she started we had this book which she absolutely loved practicing her letters in. She was very comfortable writing her full name free hand when she started Nursery - result!

Priced at just £2

For encouraging school starters to get practicing writing, I recommend an attractive lined paper notebook. Liv is obsessed with pink and Girly so this caught her eye immediately. It really does help them a lot to get them used to writing on the lines.

Priced at just £3

Next are these easy grip pencils. It's surprisingly difficult for little ones to grip a pen or pencil correctly, with the brightly
coloured easy grip addition, these pencils are perfect for 
helping encourage the correct grip for writing.

Priced at just £1

Next up is very important - a diary for Mummy/Daddy. Once your little one starts school, the letters for events, non uniform days, holidays etc soon start flowing in and are very easy to lose track of. To help prevent your little one being the
one in uniform on sports day, please get yourselves a diary :)

Priced at just £3 

Last but by no means least are these fab storage bags. Every so often your a Children will start bringing home paintings, colourings, models, certificates and more. If you are like me you won't want to throw them away, but they soon start to fill drawers and turn your house into a Child's art 
gallery! We now have a few things up and swap them when more comes in, these storage cubes are the perfect way to 
store all of the memories you can't bear to part with!

Priced at £6 each or 2 for £10

Why not check out the full range with back to school at The Works.

Brought you in association with The Works.