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What Spring means for my home...

on Thursday, 20 March 2014.

Although you wouldn't think it looking out my window at the moment, Spring is definitely on it's way. The sun is making an appearance more and more, and slowly my thoughts are turning to pastel colours, picnics outside and day trips to the beach.  I love Spring and the anticipation of it, and I am really excited to be able to put away my Ugg boots and dust off my sandals.

I don't know why, but every year when Spring arrives, I always feel the need to do things to my home.  It's almost like winter makes you feel a bit lazy, but when the lighter evenings and sunnier days come around, I get this sudden urge to sort out my home.  We have been living in our house for five years now, and it is definitely at the stage where it needs to have a fresh list of paint.

I have already tackled the living room, and I am thrilled with the results.  We decided on a purple and mustard living room (check out my living room makeover) and it looks great.  We have had so many lovely comments on it, especially where did we get our Orla Kiely wallpaper from, it's from John Lewis.  It was a bold choice going for such a strong pattern on the wall but I am really pleased with how it turned out.  It feels so much nicer to sit in it now and I have a huge list of other things I need to do. 

First up is our bedroom.  Having seen Charlotte's cosy bedroom with all it's lovely cushions I really want to work on ours.  It looks great, but we bought some gorgeous wallpaper a few months ago and haven't done anything with it yet.  I want to get that up and give it a whole new lick of paint.  The next job is a big one.  I want to completely rip out our bathroom and do it again.  It's going to be a bit of a stress with two little people but it will be worth it when it's done.  Time and money is the key with this one though and it is going to be a expensive project.  I really hope that we can get it done this year. 

We love our little home, and while it isn't our forever one, I am determined to make it as lovely as we can.  We are hoping to move in a couple of years, but I know that I will be sad to say goodbye.  This is the house where we got engaged, got married, had our babies and built our new family together.  It holds so many happy memories which is why I want to give it the attention it deserves.

mustardandpurplelivingroom12

 

 

Our Living Room Makeover...

on Tuesday, 18 February 2014.

I am really excited as we are finally getting our living room done.  Having been in our house nearly five years, we haven't done much to it before now, bar giving it a lick of paint and changing the carpets.  Green shag pile is totally not cool. 

I am really pleased we are finally getting rid of our lampshades and getting spot lights.  We are also getting rid of the horrendous 80's style artex and getting it replastered and repainted.  Once that is done next week we can get down to the fun part- choosing the accessories!  Here are a few things on my wishlist.

livingroomwishlist

1.  Technically not on my wish list as we have already ordered it, but we have got this gorgeous mustard wallpaper from Orly Keily- our colour scheme is going to be the existing purple mixed with splashes of mustard.

2.  I would absolutely love to get rid of the carpet. While we loved it when we first moved in, two small people later has meant that it is really worn in places and is also starting to get stained.  I would love these vinyl tiles from CarpetRight, I wouldn't want wood as I would worry about it getting marked so this would be a good alternative while the children are young.

3. Love this cushion from Ferm Living as it incorporates all of our colour schemes together.

4.  I love this cat cushion from Howkapow as it is quite different and also Mads would love it too.

5.  Finally on my wishlist is this huge knitted letter cushion.  I would love to get one in purple and one in mustard, with one being the letter K and one being the letter J.  They are gorgeous but quite expensive as cushions go.

I cannot wait to start shopping for all the little details, and will be mixing slightly more expensive bits with more budget items as well.  But first we have to get through the ordeal of living in a building site with two small children for a week or so while the plasterer works his magic.

So excited and will be sure to show you all the finished result!

All About Energy...

on Wednesday, 22 January 2014.

Although not a particularly exciting subject, I often think about our energy consumption.  Ever since I went on maternity leave with Mads three years ago I have really been watching our energy bills, as obviously we have dropped down from two full time wages with bonuses, to me being part time.  Our outgoings each month are getting bigger, even though we are trying to cut costs.

 

The evolution of energy consumption through the decades
Be smarter with your consumption and choose the right energy tariff.

 

It's interesting to see just how much has changed over the years and how much energy we are now using.  I always try and save electricity whenever I can, but we usually have two computers on in the evenings, and also generally have the television on as background noise even though we don't actually watch it much.  

We are also in a lot during the day at the moment and as it is darker it means the lights are always on, and our heating is on a lot at the moment.  I think I definitely need to perhaps research my energy bills a bit more and maybe think about getting an app or a meter to keep tabs on what we are using.

New Years Resolutions...

on Wednesday, 18 December 2013.

It's nearly Christmas, meaning that it soon will be January.  Inevitably I start thinking about New Years Resolutions at around this time.  Doesn't everyone?

I don't have a good track record when it comes to resolutions.  I, like millions of other people, generally say that I am going to join a gym, and try and lose weight.  I always say I will drink more water and eat a more healthy diet.  I generally break these within a few weeks.  I just don't seem to have the staying power.  

This year I am going to make those same resolutions as last year.  Myself and my sister are going to join the gym, and I am determined to lose the last remaining baby weight so I feel confident and happy on my holiday in June.  I think hopefully having something to aim towards will help me more so than if I was just doing it for the sake of it.  I am by no means large, but I just want to tone up my tummy and feel nice in a bikini.  I am going to do a rolling gym membership so if for any reason I don't keep it up I can cancel it at any time.  But I really hope I do.

I am also setting myself a resolution to improve my photography.  I feel my photography as improved no end since last year, and I think the difference between my 2012 and 2013 photos is huge.  But I am a perfectionist and want to do better, so I am going to push myself to learn, practice and absorb as much as I can.  I am looking forward to seeing the results at the end of 2013- this is definitely a resolution I will keep.

It made me chuckle to see that Ladbrokes Bingo had conducted a survey into New Years Resolutions.  The results I think are quite funny.  Of 100 people surveyed, by the end of 12 months only just under 10% actually managed to keep it.  Most people gave up in the first 1-3 months.  Kind of like myself there.  It also seems that my age bracket, 25-34 were the ones who were most likely to make a resolution.  I wonder if it similarly is Mum's like me?!  

They didn't just ask about resolutions, but other aspects of New Year as well, such as whether you went out or stayed in.  I thought that I was boring now we had children, but it seems 64% of people are planning to stay in.  I have never hugely liked New Year, it annoys me that I could go out the night before and not have to pay double the price for entry to places, drinks or food.  I would much rather have a few friends round for dinner (going to be checking out here for recipe inspiration) and some drinks, although with my little ladies being so young, I reckon we will more than likely just cook a nice meal for ourselves, or at the most have one or two friends over.  Exciting times eh?  We will definitely be doing our New Years Day tradition of going to our local gym club with friends.

NewYearsDayParty4

 

You can see the results of the New Years Survey over on the Ladbrokes Bingo site- it makes me feel reassured to know that it is not just myself who isn't going out and who doesn't last more than a few weeks with my resolutions!  Although if you ask me this next year, I will feel all superior as I hope I will have achieved mine!

 



 

 

Our Living Room Makeover...

on Wednesday, 13 November 2013.

Something very exciting is happening in our house at the moment!  After months of persuading Mr E to let us redecorate the living room, he has finally caved in and said yes!  I am so so excited.

We only recently bought a rug and a few other bits for it, so we are keeping with the purple colour scheme we already have, and are adding some mustard colours to it as well.  It sounds disgusting but as a colour pallete mustards and purples actually work quite well together- at least this is what the interior magazines keep telling me!

We are going to wallpaper one wall, with this gorgeous mustard circle wallpaper from Habitat.  We will then get some new mustard cushions and perhaps a mustard throw to add some brightness to the purple colour scheme.

Ideally we would love to switch the room around as it is a funny shape at the moment, and we would move the TV from one side to the other, but the only problem with this is that we would need a new sofa.  I would love to get one of those big L shaped ones, but at the moment it unfortunately comes down to affordability and we just don't have a huge budget at the moment.

I would also love to have the swirly artex removed from our ceiling but again I don't think Mr E will let me go that far as we are only planning on being in our house for a couple of years before we think about moving again. 

So that's it!  Watch this space for our living room makeover!  I will be sure to blog about it. 

 

Party Style From Mini Boden.

on Tuesday, 12 November 2013.

Yipee it is November, which means that December is just around the corner.  And you know what December brings?

Christmas of course!

I love December, it is by far my favourite month of the year.  First up we have our wedding anniversary on the 20th, followed by Mads birthday on Christmas Eve itself, before finally the big day on the 25th.  This year we will have lots of excuses to get dressed up and put on our party frocks as we have a few different party invitations already.

Something which I would never thought I would say, is that actually I enjoy picking out clothes for my girls even more than me nowadays.  There are so many gorgeous skirts, dresses and other little outfits around at the moment for them- I am in heaven.

One of my favourite shops for them is Boden.  They have such a wonderful range of bits for little ladies and we have quite a few of their clothes, including some of their very cute slogan t-shirts.  This year they have outdone themselves with their party bits and I could easily buy the whole shop for my girls.

miniboden

1.  I love this spotty skirt.  It would make Mads look like a real little lady.

2.  First up is this adorable tutu. We already have some gorgeous tutu's but they are a little bit too poofy to wear all the time.  I love the fact this one is grey, and I love the way they have made the look slightly more casual with that adorable rabbit jumper. 

3.  Without leaving LL out, I love this gorgeous reindeer dress.  I don't like her being too dressy as I like her to look like a baby so this is the best of both worlds.

4.  Finally both those outfits would perfectly with these gorgeous gold boots.  I wouldnt mind a pair for myself! ;) 

I literally have a list as long as my arm of things that I want to get them both from the girls range at Boden this year.  Let's hope Father Christmas thinks they have been good girls!

 

Three Creative Ideas To Spice Up Your Photographs.

on Friday, 18 October 2013.

Social media plays a huge role in modern day society and Facebook and Instagram, in particular, have become a popular platform for youngsters and budding photographers to show off their photography skills. But, once you’ve got album after album stuffed with perfectly filtered shots, how can you make those memories tangible?

With the increased popularity in apps like Instagram, more and more people are using their phones to snap shots of their friends, of sunsets and of course, food. Where once photographs would be displayed in frames on mantelpieces at home, instead they are now stored on social channels online.

For those that take pride in their photographs and want to display them in their homes, I have three creative ideas for a modern take on the humble photo frame.

Printstagram

Printstagram

 

 

Photo Credit: jaeming

Make your photos physical with stunning products from Printstagram which match the quality and magic of the app itself. Choose from printed squares, greeting cards, frames or posters and show off your photographs with pride. The Printstagram mini prints are particularly popular; I’ve seen many friends use this service because it’s just so cute.

The mini prints are a simple way to showcase Instagram prints and can act as the perfect gift too. They are polaroid style so have that vintage-y feel to them and the little space beneath the photo is ideal for writing little notes to friends and loved ones. If that isn’t a perfect birthday present then I don’t know what is.

My Photo Gifts

My Photo Gifts

Create your own photo on mug gift for a cool twist on the photo frame. My Photo Gifts offers you a plethora of options for creating your own personalised mug. You can choose from photo montages and photo frame mugs after which you can upload your favourite photos on to the mug.

These are such a cute gift idea for mum or dad at Christmas or even for a friend. Cherished memories are so often lost on Facebook or Instagram so why not show them off on a mug which is guaranteed to be used every day of the week.

Stickygram

Statigram

Photo Credit: eliseblaha

The fridge has always been bragging grounds for proud mums and dads so take a cue from mum and show off your own photography skills with Stickygram.

Stickygram helps to convert Instagram prints into magnets, capturing the original quality from the app and turning it into a fabulous gift or even something to keep for yourself. The colours are fantastic and it’s a cute idea to display photos which everyone will love.

What do you think? Will you be printing your snaps to show off around the home or have you found any other services which you think are worth a mention?

My Obsession With Cleaning.

on Tuesday, 08 October 2013.

I have made no secret on this blog that I may be a *teeny* bit obsessed with cleaning my house.

I am not domesticated in the slightest, at all in fact, and my husband does most of the cooking, washing and ironing.  But there is one way in which I step up to the mark, and that's when it comes to cleaning.  I cannot stand clutter, or mess, or dirt and I clean my house more often than is entirely normal.

I hoover at least once or twice a day, and do not get me started on kitchen roll.  I get through at least 5 rolls a week!  I use it for everything- cleaning cupboards and surfaces, drying the washing up, cleaning the bathroom etc.  Mr E despairs at how much I get through.  

I have a few different products that I cannot live without.  Firstly I love this Kilrock Spray from Kleeneze- it has a lovely citrusy fragrance and is perfect as a multi purpose spray for everything that needs a clean- I use it on kitchen worksurfaces, the dining room table, the window sills and the bathroom.

I then love this gel cleaner which I use for my toilet.  (I do get hubby to do the toilets- bleugh!) It really makes them up come up clean.

I am never without these anti-bacterial wipes- they are fantastic for the highchairs.  I have also been known to take them out with me as the highchairs in restaurants are normally so revolting!

Finally my last must have product I can't do without is this Kleeneze stain remover.  One of the not so lovely things about having toddlers and babies in the house is the amount of stains that end up on my carpets and sofa's, whether it's sticky toddler fingers or baby sick, I feel like I am constantly cleaning up stains.  This spray is amazing and really gets rid of the most stubbornly placed marks.

I hope that you found these must have products helpful.  My friends always joke that my house is like a show home, and I don't think my cleaning obsession is going to stop any time soon.

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