Build the Greatest Home Extension Ever with a Comfortable Conservatory

One of the most desired home renovations that I can think of is that of adding a conservatory to the building. A lot of people may be under the false impression that a conservatory is nothing but a fancy name for a greenhouse. But this is far from the truth. Conservatories make for brilliant extensions of your home – if you do it right, of course.

Conservatories make for great extensions because they offer a more relaxing and comfortable environment than a lot of rooms in the house, or even the immediate exterior of your back yard. There is something pretty cool about being surrounding by clear views of your garden while you read, eat, or just sit around, while not actually having to be outside!

But, I mean, if you do want to use it as a greenhouse, then go ahead. They do make pretty good greenhouses. But if you’re looking for a modest house extension, then a conservatory can be the cheapest – and most stylish – way to go about it.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope

If you’re looking to build a conservatory, then you’re on the road to making a really good renovation. The first step, of course, is making sure that you’re actually allowed to build one. Even if you own the property outright, there may be some permissions that you need to be granted. Ensure that your local council doesn’t have any qualms with you adding a conservatory to your home. In the United States, it’s quite possible that you’d have to deal with your local Homeowners’ Association.

If you don’t own the property, then you’re going to have to seek permission from your landlord. Heck, they may even be willing to get the job done. Conservatories can add quite a bit of value to a home, though you have to be careful not to assume that it will pay for itself!

When you’re in these initial planning stages, I suggest that one of the first things you consider is temperature control. A lot of people neglect this aspect of things when they’re building a conservatory, and they may find themselves paying dearly for it. In the summer, it needs strong ventilation to keep it cool – the warm rays of the sun and the surrounding glass combine to create a pretty warm atmosphere! But you also need to consider the winter, when your conservatory can get pretty darn chilly. Something like the Guardian Warm Roof can help a lot when it comes to the colder months.

Photo credit: By Dilanf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The best materials for your conservatory have temperature control in mind. But you also need to consider strength, as well as general aesthetic. A lot of people don’t want it sticking out too much from the rest of the home!

After that, you get to look into the more fun aspects of interior design. It’s here that you need to consider precisely what you want to do in there. Whether you go for modern, opulent, or for a more traditional and comfortable edge, make sure your conservatory feels like the expensive addition to your home that it is. In other words, don’t be afraid to really make it worth your time and money! You can find inspiration for conservatory design over at Homify.

 

A Week on Instagram #3

Another week come and gone! We haven’t got out much at all – we wanted to wait until Ben’s nasty cough had gone before heading out too far, but then I came down with a rotten cold. This week so far has been spent building a new cabin bed for Harrison and new wardrobes for us. Hopefully, we will get out at some point though and get some much needed fresh air and exercise!

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This Is Your Final “Warming”: Small Hacks To Keep Your Home Warm In Winter

It’s always a concern after Christmas, the cost of everything, especially the energy bills! Trying to keep the house warm during the winter months while also trying to curb your spending is difficult. There are the normal methods of keeping your house warm in the winter months, such as installing double glazing or paying out a lot of money for insulation, or a brand new heating system. But apart from these approaches, what can be done cheaply to keep your house warm?

Tin Foil

By Splarka at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This is one way to prevent heat loss from radiators, especially radiators that are attached to external walls. By using heat reflective aluminium foil behind the radiators, this will reflect the heat back into the room instead of letting the heat disappear through that external wall. You can buy foil specially designed for this purpose, but it can be costly if you need to buy lots. So you could invest in good quality kitchen foil instead. However, this is not as effective.

Single-Glazed Window Film

Double glazing is one of the most effective ways to keep heat in your home. However, it is incredibly costly, but if you can’t afford it, there is a special film that you can put across single-glazed windows which imitates the same effects, however not as well as double glazing. You can attach the film to the window using double-sided tape, and then by applying heat, such as from a blow dryer, you can fix it on. The only negative to this is that if you needed to open your windows, you would have to break the seal. But if you need to apply the film during the winter months, it is unlikely you will need to open the windows, but you can purchase smaller packs for smaller windows.

Using Thicker Curtains

This is one of the older methods to help you prevent heat from escaping. A good, cheap option is to use curtains with a thermal lining, the thicker,the better. However, if you cannot afford new curtains, you can line them with material like fleece, or even PVC shower curtains! If you have issues with single glazing then placing curtains over single glazing doors will help prevent draughts also.

Draught Excluders

You can make your own draught excluders such as by using a pair of tights and stuffing them with old socks, or you can invest very cheaply in the old fashioned “sausage dog” draught excluders. If you have big letterboxes or dog flaps, then finding basic materials to create some insulation, such as bits of blankets, can be fixed using some adhesive you can purchase from your local industrial adhesive suppliers.

Other small tips include putting shelves above a radiator to help stop hot air rising, shutting unused rooms to prevent the cold air moving to the rest of the house so you can contain the heat, and also setting timers on your heating. You don’t need to leave your heating on all day, having it on for a small period of time, long enough so that regenerates a convection current should be enough to keep the heat in.

 

Real Advice for First Time Parents

Just before Christmas, my youngest brother Tom and his long-term girlfriend announced they were expecting their first baby. My very first niece or nephew is due in July –  I am SO excited.

I’m sure Kim and Tom are going to receive lots of little gems of advice, and will probably turn to books, internet forums and the like for advice and ideas. I thought I would offer them, and any other first time parents to be some real advice, from someone who has done it three times over and has survived. Just about anyway.

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How I Became a Morning Person

I’m not naturally a morning person. In fact, I’m not naturally an evening person. I like sleep and I need lots of it. I would quite happily go to bed early and get up late.

However, with kids, that’s just not really practical. We are really lucky that ours aren’t particularly early risers, waking up at 7.30/8am if left to it. They’re not too bad at night time either.  But if we want some time to ourselves, or I want to work in peace and quiet, I have to use that time when they are asleep. I used to regularly sit up until 2am in the morning watching the TV or working, but would feel dog rough the next day, so over the past few months, I’ve trained myself to become a morning person.

How I Became a Morning Person

 

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Out With the Not So Old

With the New Year comes expectations; let’s call them the 3 R’s. Revival, Rejuvenation and Resolutions are all things that we can associate with this timed trend, but spare a thought for the things you really need to refresh within your life – it’s not just how you’re living it, but rather what you’re living with.

When you’re living with kids, there are a variety of different subjects which can be hosts to mould and grime. If you have had squeezy bath toys for longer than 12 months, chances are that algae has started forming on the inside of it; simply fill with water, give it a good shake and squeeze it all out again to see just how much the toy has been harbouring. Rather than trying to salvage them, don’t take the risk and dispose of them immediately. If you find that you are spending a lot on said toys, invest your money into something that can dry effectively and can be thoroughly wiped clean every couple of weeks.  If your child is young enough to use a dummy, make sure that these are also replaced often; the recommended lifespan of a pacifier is just two months. In between the purchasing and disposal of this product, it is important to make sure that they are sterilised every three days at least to stop the development of harmful bacteria.

While it may not feel like it, many older mattresses are harbouring a wealth of dead skin cells and bacteria. If you can’t remember the last time you thought about changing your mattress, then it’s probably time to be out with the old and in with the new. There are more natural, cleaner and comfortable options cropping up on the market and a latex mattress guide is a perfect way to find out what is most suitable to your needs. While the recommended mattress replacement age is eight years, more and more people are holding on to theirs under the pretence that it is comfortable and is doing its job. The reality is that, more often than not, your mattress isn’t offering the support that you need for a good night’s sleep, and that’s not even beginning to take into account other ailments which can be caused by the microspores that are living in it – runny noses, itching and coughing can all be caused by dust mites.

Mattresses aren’t the only things that need replacing when it comes to stripping down your bed. Pillows are supposed to be replaced every six months to provide the support that your head requires, with experts stating that if you fold your pillow in half and it doesn’t spring back open immediately, it is time to put it in the dustbin. Whilst on the subject, feather pillows are meant to be the worst for dust mites and neck pain, so if you have these perhaps it’s worth looking for another choice – it’s all about trying something new!


One which is probably more obvious than most is the chucking out of kitchen cleaning products once they are worn. Some, however, do not get worn down as quickly; it is easy to spot a misshapen scourer or a worn-down scrubbing brush, but what about sponges and cloths? Sponges should be replaced every month, based on cleaning your dishes with it once a day, but can be cleaned in bleach between uses to keep them fresh and bacteria-free. Cloths can be used until they are to the point of being worn, as they can be cleaned effectively on a hot wash or soaked in bleach. It may surprise you how much you can achieve once you know that everything in your kitchen is clean; new stuff to clean with can often inspire you to be a bit more motivated to do so as you’re working with fresh tools.

Common sense should usually play a part in helping you to see when the necessities in your life need to be revived, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult to sense the lifespan of what is around us. Not everybody knows how long you are meant to hold on to something for, and searches on the internet can help give a general idea. A handy way to go about it is to think about how long you have had everything that you come across in your household over the next week; some of it may need a quick wipe or a thorough clean, but the replacement of other goods may just surprise you.

Signs of Sepsis

Back when Benjamin was three weeks old, he contracted a severe water infection which led to sepsis. He was really really poorly for a while – his body had started to go into septic shock – and if it hadn’t been for the wonderful efforts of the NHS, he wouldn’t be bouncing around the house like the little fruitloop that he is.

Lots of people haven’t heard of it, or don’t recognise any of the symptoms. I know I didn’t before Ben was ill. It’s had a lot of coverage in the media in recent months which I am so glad about and people are beginning to understand just how serious it can be.

The Signs of Sepsis

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Siblings | January 2017

Every month I will be sharing some photos of the boys altogether and talking a little bit about how they have been getting along. Having three boys so close in age (they’re five, four and two now) is incredibly difficult sometimes, especially with the older two, who have recently discovered play wrestling, but at the same time they usually play really nicely together and are the best of friends.

Siblings 2017

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Meal Planning Monday #3

Last week we again managed to mostly stick to the plan. We should have had a pork roast dinner on Monday, which we originally should have had on Sunday. However, Ben was poorly and was kept in the hospital Sunday night. When it came to starting dinner on Monday, we were both knackered and neither of us felt up to either cooking or eating a roast dinner. We ended up ordering a Chinese takeaway instead. I think that was pretty justified, though! I’ve made it pretty easy on myself for next week as well, by cooking some of the meals and the mashed potatoes already and sticking them in the freezer – like homemade ready meals!

Meal Planning Monday

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Getting Crazy, Creative and Cool with Kids

Regardless of whether you have toddlers or teenagers, getting creative is a brilliant way to bring the family together.  A little like cooking, craft means you need to work as a team and gives you something brilliant at the end of it.  

Allowing my kids to express themselves is both important to them and to me.  My grandparents had a brilliant saying ‘make do and mend’ which I am reminded of every time I take on an upcycling project.

There are millions of ideas on the internet, from repurposing old chairs like in this post to making your own clothes.  Other than an interest from your children, there isn’t an age limit for being creative.  Young children can learn to sew using small pieces of felt and round ended sewing needles with larger thread to make their own soft toys or small cushions. Teenagers can use more technical equipment like professional hot melt glue guns to create really impressive furniture or picture frames.

The internet has opened up the world of DIY craft, giving you the ability to buy well-made basics then work with your children to develop something special.  

Trinket boxes are really great for any age.  Whether you purchase the base online or use an existing box, such as a gift box, all you need is a large table, lots of coloured paper or fabric and various seeds, sequins or gems that can be instantly stuck on.  Something as simple as these Hatching Stick Puppets could be used to create a puppet show for the family

Here’s a fantastic guide for making your own Glitter Ball to really add some sparkle to any kids room and give you a few hours of quality time with your children.

Photo: https://morguefile.com/creative/missyredboots/6/disco%20ball
You will need:
A styrofoam ball – You choose the size.
Old Cd’s cut into small square
Some wire
Paper clip
Heavy Scissors
A skewer
Glue Gun
Gloves

1: Start by taking the styrofoam ball and holding it onto a hard work surface,  Using the skewer push straight down through the centre.  Removed your skewer, take the wire and thread through, wrap around the paperclip pulling the wire up so the clip is flat under the ball holding itself in place.

2: Using scissors cut the CD’s into uniform squares.  Then, holding the ball with the paperclip against the work surface, use your glue gun to stick the pieces of CD to your ball.  Make sure the reflective side faces up.  Repeat this process until the whole ball is covered.

3: Once your glue has dried, use the wire to hang the ball from the ceiling, preferably near a light source.  Then sit back and watch as light dances around your room.

You don’t have to use a CD, if you want a really professional look it is possible to buy small mirrored mosaic tiles from many craft stores.  You could even spray the styrofoam silver to ensure any gaps are discreet.

 

The most important part of all of this is to have fun, allow your children the freedom to make mistakes.  Spend time teaching them that creativity is cool.  

 

 

Diggers in the Sand | My Sunday Photo

We haven’t gone out much this week with Benjamin being poorly, so this was one from last Saturday. We had a few hours to kill before collecting our new kitten, Ellie from the RSPCA centre. We put our wellies on and headed to the beach with diggers and boats to play on the sand and in the rockpools.

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How Do You Create Your Ideal Style Of Home? Find Out Here

If you’ve recently been promoted or you just like the good life, then why not turn your home into a luxurious haven where you can really relax every night when you get home from work? Go for well-made materials and furniture. For instance, when it comes to bedding, make sure that you get sheets with a high thread count, preferably made out of Egyptian cotton, which is the best in the world. True luxury is all about comfort, so splash out on a couch that you can really enjoy every evening. Go for rich, warm colours, and heavy, sumptuous fabrics like silk and velvet. In your kitchen, go for marble worktops and high-quality appliances so you can eat just as well as you can relax.

Functional

If you have a family then chances are you’re looking for a very functional home that focuses much more on substance over style. Make sure that you go for surfaces and materials that are wipe clean – a leather or faux leather couch might be the best option while you have small children who are likely to put sticky hands and chocolate crumbs all over your couch! If you don’t want to go for leather, use a material that won’t stain and for a couch cover that can be taken off the furniture so it can be laundered. Use a dependable furniture retailer like Direct Furniture Land so you know you can rely on it. Make sure that you don’t go for tables or shelves that have too many sharp edges, or that provide opportunities for small, adventurous kids to try to climb onto them. You don’t want your home to cause any injuries!

Quirky

If you want a quirky home, then you need to know that you won’t be able to create it overnight. You need to constantly watch out for pieces that you can add to your home, whether that’s online or in stores. Check out the sales sections of websites like Urban Outfitters after Christmas to buy your perfect cactus-shaped lamp or neon sign, and try to frequent antiques store at the weekends. Don’t worry about clashing colours or other people’s opinions – what matters most is what you think. Go for different fabrics, bright glorious jewel tones and interesting pieces of artwork to turn your home into a creative haven.

Minimalist

If you’re considering making your home a minimalist paradise, then chances are you’re a very neat, organised person who thinks – correctly! – that a tidy desk means a tidy mind. Go for pale colours for the walls like white or pale grey, and go for wooden floors with the occasional rug so that your feet don’t end up getting too cold. If you want to go for a really uncluttered vibe then it’s essential that you consider your storage solutions so it’s easy for you to put everything away. The insides of your closets need to be just as tidy as the outer surfaces of your home: label everything and make sure all your possessions have a place where they should be kept.

 

Cost Cutters: Easy Ways To Save Money Every Day

We’d all like to be able to save a bit more every month but sometimes no sooner has the paycheck landed in our accounts, then it’s out again thanks to bills, rent, car payments, school fees and medical treatments. It’s not easy pinching pennies, and it’s important to know what items you should pay extra for such as quality meats, a cable provider or comprehensive insurance and those that, if you know where to look, you can get for less.  

Buy In Bulk

No matter what time of the year household goods such as toilet paper, bin bags, soap, kitchen roll and laundry detergent are items we need. However, it could be worth stocking up while deals are on, buy one get one free, three for ten dollars etc, to save money in the long run or even consider buying your essentials elsewhere. Supermarkets tend to mark up prices on household items so it may be cheaper to purchase them online, visit a warehouse or even buy them at the drugstore.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdid/

Stick To Your Grocery List

We all arrive at the supermarket determined to buy what’s on the list and only that but somehow by the time we arrive at the till it never happens. If you can, avoid taking children with you when grocery shopping as the basket will be piled high with sweets and chocolate or distract them by turning looking for items into a game. They’ll be so busy trying to find the pasta that they’ll forget to add the candy. Sticking to a list helps you identify what you eat the most and means you’ll be on the lookout for deals as well as looking to see if there are cheaper alternatives. Make sure you eat a proper meal before you browse the aisles, as it’ll remove the temptation to throw anything and everything into the shopping cart so you can just get home.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/combust/

Switch Off Your Appliances

Even when you’ve removed your phone from the charger electricity still continues to flow through the cable if it’s still turned on at the wall. By making sure all devices, cables not in use and even lights are switched off before you leave the house each morning you could lower your monthly electricity bill by around ten percent as well as helping the environment.

Research Big Purchases

Big purchases such as a new TV, games console or sofa require a little bit of thought and preparation to avoid you spending cash unnecessarily. Make a note of the make and model of the item that you like, check the price, then consider buying on credit to save extra money. Visit YourCreditBlog.com to find out more about improving your credit. Online retailers tend to have more stock, but independent dealers will have more freedom to negotiate so decide what’s important to you and go from there.

A Dollar A Day

A dollar may not seem like much but if you pop a buck into a savings account, or even a glass jar, every day over the course of a year you’ll then have $365 to spend. A healthy savings account will help pay for surprise family holidays, a different car or a boatload of new gadgets.

 

 

 

Undeniable Proof That Reading To Your Kids Rocks

I’m an imperfect parent. Sometimes I get mad, sometimes I get frustrated, and others I just feel completely overwhelmed by the awesome task that is raising actual human people. However, when I sit down to read with my kids at the end of the day, I know I’m doing something right. Reading to children, even when they’re tiny little tots, really is the gift that keeps giving and will set them up for the rest of their lives. Here are just some of the advantages that you can give your child by making story telling a regular thing:

Big up your bond by bringing a book to the bedtime routine. Reading with your little one doesn’t just help them to settle before bed, it brings you closer and helps to maintain a loving relationship. Regular storytelling encourages children to talk to you and to ask questions in a safe, warm environment. If your kids get into the habit of engaging with you on a daily basis when they’re very young, you will find it much easier to communicate with them when they reach the dreaded teenage years. As anyone who is the parent of teenagers will tell you, that is worth its weight in gold!

Invaluable concentration skills that will help kids to succeed at school and in later life. You’ve created the perfect sleep environment, even splashing out on beds for toddlers from Cuckooland. But that’s only half the battle in teaching your little ones to self-soothe and settle themselves into a good night’s sleep. Reading a story before settling down forces them to concentrate on the tale, to shut out any distractions and achieve a feeling of calm.  There are many adults who have difficulty doing this, so your bedtime story can put your child at a huge advantage when it comes to succeeding academically, personally and in their career.

   Develop empathy with books. Great fictional tales draw the reader in by encouraging us to identify with the     characters. Children who are read to are better able to appreciate and understand the feelings of others, which makes them better friends, partners, and colleagues in the future.

 Reading to your child every evening might initially seem like a bit of a chore, especially when you just want to kick back with a glass of wine and your favourite box set.  However, it is the single best way to give kids a leg up in life, and they will benefit from your reading sessions long into adulthood. When they get a little older, it’s still worth  keeping up the routine, as research has shown. To get started, check out some great reads on this page. You might   surprise yourself and reignite your own love of a great book at the same time!

 

 

 

The Girl On The Train, Ed Sheeran and Exciting News #LittleLoves

Well, we’ve had an interesting week! On Saturday evening, Benjamin started sounding a bit wheezy, so I made a mental note to keep an eye on him and make a doctors appointment for first thing Monday morning. By Sunday afternoon he couldn’t stop coughing and was really poorly so Graham took him to the A&E department at our local hospital. A few hours later when they decided they were probably keeping him in for the night, I went there in a taxi so we could swap – after all the crap he went through when he was a newborn, I couldn’t bear the thought of him being in the hospital without me. It turns out he had a ‘viral wheeze’ and just needed an inhaler every few hours. They kept us in to keep an eye on him but we came home first thing in the morning and he was back to his usual self. Our first experience at Glan Clwyd hospital was very good, though – the staff were amazing!

The Girl on the Train, Ed Sheeran and Exciting News

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From Run-Down To Ravishing: How To Make Your Renovation Project A Success

There are some incredible old properties on the market in the UK. Sadly, some of them have seen better days, but this doesn’t mean that they no longer serve a purpose. A growing number of adventurous investors and creative buyers are looking for a project. When you’re buying a house, it’s not always pristine showhomes that catch your eye. With a renovation project, there’s potential to create the home of your dreams. If you’re hoping to turn a run-down wreck into a ravishing retreat, here are some tips:

Plan in advance

Renovation work is often time-consuming, and it requires careful planning. Before you buy a house, you’ll need to know how much the build will cost, how much value you could add, and whether it’s viable to do what you want to do. It’s wise to consult with planning officers, architects, and building firms. It’s not enough to have a vision and a rough budget in mind. You need proper plans in place to make sure that you’re making the right decision. Investing in older properties can be incredibly lucrative, but it can also end up draining your resources. It’s essential that you select the right project.

Don’t shirk on expert help

It may seem relatively straightforward to come up with design ideas, especially if you’re blessed with creative talents. However, there’s an awful lot of work that goes into rebuilding and restoring a house. You’ll need to make sure that your plans satisfy building regulations, and seek planning permission for any structural changes you want to make, or extensions you wish to add. Calling in expert help may be costly, but it could save you significant sums in the long-run. If you get i wrong, you’ll end up paying experience professionals to sort out a mess, which could have been prevented in the first place. You can help out with the odd job on-site, but you need people with the relevant expertise on board. Roofing jobs, for example, may look simple enough. But there’s a lot of skill that goes into fixing loose tiles, fitting a polycarbonate sheet or tending to leaks.

Make contingency plans

Some people sail through the process of restoring an old house without any major hiccups, but it’s always a good idea to make contingency plans. You may encounter problems that have implications for the timeframe and budget. If you’ve set aside some money, and you have somewhere to stay while work is underway, this will save you stress and hassle if you do hit a

Be original

If you’re renovating a house, seize the opportunity to inject your style and personality, and be original. It can be tough to see past the decor and style in a brand new home. But with a project, you have free reign to celebrate your taste and design your ideal home. Look online and flick through some magazines for inspiration and ideas.

If you’ve bought an old home in need of some TLC, there’s probably a lot of work to do. This is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Plan ahead, work with experts, and always have contingency plans in place, just in case. Once you’ve got the major jobs sorted, start thinking about the interior, and be original with your ideas. This is your chance to create the home of your dreams!

Create A Family Friendly Home That Doesn’t Compromise On Style

Bringing up children and trying to keep our homes clean, stylish, and well organised can seem like two mutually exclusive tasks. Children can be little tornadoes of destruction which can really take their toll on our homes. Many parents respond by childproofing their homes, but also allowing style to slip by the wayside. So, what if I told you there is a way to make sure your house is childproof and on trend, without the two causing problems for each other? It is possible; it is just about making smart purchases and clever design choices.

Accessorise

If all surfaces are easy to clean, you’ve got your first problem out of the way. It’s best to ensure that walls are wipeable, and opt for hardwood flooring with wool rugs for softness and durability. Wooden flooring allows spills and dirt to be cleaned up easily, and it’s a whole lot easier to clean a rug than a carpet. Choose patterns rather than plain fabric for any soft furnishings as stains are a whole lot less likely to show up. Even sofas should be covered in durable fabrics such as good quality faux leather. These will be easier to wipe clean, but also less likely to suffer damage when children play roughly on them. Steer clear of silks, velvets, and any other fabrics which aren’t too keen on baby drool. It’s also a good idea to keep beautiful trinkets on shelving units and make wall art a focus of the style of your home, so it’s all out of arm’s reach for the children.

Get storage savvy

Kids seem to have far more stuff than they need, and without a place to live, that stuff can make a home seem really cluttered and untidy. Clever storage solutions are the perfect answer to that, so it’s time to get imaginative. Strange little alcoves which serve no purpose can have cupboard doors attached, invest in a bed with ottoman storage, and spend some time clearing out the attic space – every little bit of extra storage helps. An ottoman instead of a coffee table is a great addition to the living room; not only is it perfect for storing toys, but it’s also a lot safer when babies start to walk and want to pull themselves up onto furniture.

Remodel

Open plan homes tend to be easier for families than houses with closed doors and separate rooms. It’s a whole lot easier on mum when the kids are playing in the living room, and there’s a clear line of sight from the kitchen. If your home is suitable for the changes, it could make family life so much easier. It might be worth speaking to a designer such as someone from Kia Designs for advice on how to make your home more open plan and family friendly, without compromising on style.

Having children doesn’t mean your home has to lose its chic look and trendy edge, it’s all about finding solutions for allowing the two to exist together.

 

Food Diary of a Vegan

I’ll start by saying that I’m not a vegan – as you can see from my meal plans I’m not even a vegetarian, and the chances of me becoming either are pretty much zero. That’s a whole different discussion, though, and one I won’t get into. However, saying that, I understand why people make that choice, and I do respect and admire their decision. I can’t imagine veganism to be easy as so many things we eat and drink contain animal products or by-products. I do think sometimes that we could reduce the amount of meat in our diet for all sorts of reasons – I often choose veggie sausages or a veggie option if I’m eating out, and I try to do the odd meat-free meal, but generally, in our house, we do eat meat and dairy products.

Food Diary of a Vegan

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Cynefin | Where We Belong

This word popped up on my Pinterest feed one evening and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was a word that I  had subconsciously been looking for. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but it is a word that sums up how we feel about where we are at the moment.

It’s a Welsh word to describe a habitat where someone feels they ought to live – where nature around you feels right and welcoming.

That’s exactly how we feel about North Wales. It’s where we feel we ought to live. It feels like our forever home.

Cynefin - Where We Belong

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Meal Planning Monday #2

We managed to stick to last week’s meal plan pretty well. We swapped a couple of days meals around because it fitted better with Graham’s shifts, and had chips instead of mash with the beef casserole but all in all, we had what we said we were going to have, except for Sunday when we were out for longer than expected so didn’t get round to having a roast dinner. Because I’d taken the pork out of the freezer, we decided to add that to this week’s plan. Planning our meals really did make life a lot easier, and by using my slow cooker and halogen oven I’ve managed to save time. I bung what I can in the slow cooker in the morning and finish off the rest in the halogen.

Meal Planning Monday

Continue reading “Meal Planning Monday #2”