Baby proofing nightmare

When you get pregnant and people tell you that you’re going to need to do some baby proofing the house, I don’t think you’re ever really prepared for what that means. We were lucky I think and we were able to go months and months without really making any major changes around the house. Erin has never really crawled so we didn’t have to worry about that. Instead, she went straight to pulling herself up onto the couch and walking around like that. Now though, she’s nearly 14 months old and she’s running around like a crazy thing. No where is safe.

baby proofing

Now that Erin is very mobile, it has made me realise just how unfriendly our house is to babies.

Just before Christmas we had a library in the living room. That is now mostly in the loft. Although Erin wasn’t quite able to get there then, she is now and the bookcases were not attached to the wall. They were always supposed to be temporary until we got built in shelves. I sold two of the bookcases, have moved one and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with the stuff on the other two so I can get rid of them as well.

Our coffee table got moved from the floor in the living room to the alcove where the television lives. It now doubles as our television stand. However, the more I look at it the more I realise that the drawers are pretty much in the perfect place for Erin. She loves to open things so I desperately need to get some baby locks on there!

We have a stone fireplace. There is no getting rid of that unfortunately but if she falls and hits her head, that’s going to hurt like hell!

Jackson has his food and water bowl in the kitchen. Erin has a bit of an obsession at the minute with his water bowl though. If the gate is open she would happily go in there, tip the bowl over a million times and soak herself! One day we had 4 changes of clothes because she did it over and over again. I know I could keep the gate locked so she can’t get to the bowl but then poor Jackson couldn’t get to his water. I guess at least I know she’ll like a paddling pool in the summer.

I haven’t even thought about upstairs too much yet but I know I need to. We need to figure out where we want everything in Erin’s room and get the furniture attached to the wall. We also definitely need a gate for her room and for the top of the stairs.

Do you have any tips for baby proofing? As a first time parent I feel like there could be loads of things I wouldn’t even think about! 

How to Increase Your Property’s Value

When we started to look for the first home we would buy together we were looking for something that would suit us for a very long time. I found the whole process of buying a house really stressful and I hated losing out on houses I loved. So, we bought a house big enough to be a forever house. However, the only way we could afford it was to buy it as the fixer upper it was (and still is)! While I was looking forward to having a project, I was also looking at ways that we could increase our property’s value. Balustrade Components have come up with this great infographic to show how you could increase your property’s value

How to Increase Your Property’s Value

Increase Your Property’s Value

Although we haven’t done even a quarter of the work that needs doing in our house, I’m glad some bits we’ve done will be worth it in the long run. One of the first jobs we did was the completely clear the garden, both front and back, to make them neat and tidy! We’ve also had new fences and some decking installed!

The next big job for us is central heating and a new boiler but after that it’s a bathroom upstairs and a new kitchen. I know these will be jobs that increase the value of our home in the long run because right now, they’re terrible! An extension would definitely add some value but we are a very long way off being able to afford that, or even a conservatory!

What jobs would you like to get done to increase your property’s value?!

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. All opinions are our own. 

The Best Office Furniture

When we bought our house we picked a doer upper.  I had always planned on one part of our living room/ dining room being a library seeing as we have so many books. However, Erin pulls at things now so we’ve had to change this. All of the books are in the loft and I have a bit of an open space to consider. My little space is now going to be turned into my very own office!This means that I have to figure out what furniture to put in there and I’ve spent some time looking for the best office furniture and Furniture@Work have some great options.

Office desk

 

This desk comes from the Value Line Classic range and currently costs £154. This would be absolutely ideal for me. Storage is something I don’t have much of right now and the drawers on either side would hold so much for me, from stationery to items for review!

Furniture@Work conducted a survey recently and a whopping 44.3% of people said that a desk was their top priority for office furniture. I don’t blame them really!

Office chair

Furniture At Work office furniture

Comfort is highest on the list of needs when it comes to an office chair. At the minute, I’m used to sitting on the sofa and working each night and that’s really not good for me. The Skye Executive chair looks really well padded and with nice arm rests. This would do me nicely.

Accessories

Something I am a massive fan of is a whiteboard or a memo board. One of those big, felt covered boards would be absolutely perfect for my office. It would help me to stay organised as well as keeping things in view so I didn’t forget about them.

Tray furniture would also be really high up on my list of the best office furniture to have for me. I love to be organised and I would hate for something to go missing so something like this would give me loads of space for putting press releases, invoices etc.

what do you think is the most important piece of office furniture?

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are our own. 

What do parents do to unwind at home?

A month ago I started a new job and went back to working after being on maternity leave, 3 months earlier than planned! I still do classes with Erin 4 days a week and we’re both always so busy. Rattan Direct recently got me thinking about how John and I, and other parents, unwind at home. My bed is certainly somewhere I unwind but that’s because I’m asleep!

unwind

Rattan Direct have put together a survey to get an idea about how parents unwind at home. It’s a really simple survey to fill out and it will only take a few minutes to complete. If you would like to take part, please follow the link below:

SURVEY

The survey is broken down into three key areas, which are:

1. What parents do to unwind around the home?
2. How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year?
3. Has Brexit actually affected your spending habits around the home and garden?

Here is how I would answer those questions:

I actually find it really hard to unwind, even if I am at home. On an evening when I’m not at work I tend to sit in front of the television with my laptop and get on with some blogging. I don’t stop until midnight. It’s not until I get in a really hot bubble bath that I do start to chill out. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m shut off from the world in there.

This year will be our first proper Christmas in our own home as we’ve previously visited family instead. This year is also Erin’s first Christmas so we aren’t going anywhere. We’re going to spend the morning in our Christmas PJs and helping Erin and the dog to open their presents. I cannot wait to see how both of them react.

unwind

Honestly, Brexit hasn’t really had much of a personal affect on me and the family in any way yet. I’m not sure it will. It certainly hasn’t made a difference in me overspending on presents this year!

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Rattan Direct

Creating a cosy bedroom

When we  bought our house we knew it was somewhere that really needed doing up. The previous owners hadn’t looked after it very well and there’s quite a lot of work to be done. We started off well, doing up the spare bedroom and Erin’s room. We also completely gutted the gardens and changed them completely. However, since being pregnant and having Erin, things sort of stopped. We ran out of time and money. Just recently though, I gave our bedroom a bit of a spruce up with some new bedding.

bedroom

Our bedroom was actually the first that I painted when we moved in, although I just painted on top of what was there already. I painted the room lavender and cream as I needed to get rid of the hot pink the crazy people had it as before.

Bedroom

Our old bedding

We’ve only ever had one set of bedding that actually matches the colour of the room. It has been driving me mad for ages. So, I bought some new reversible bedding and I am so happy with it!

New bedding!

New bedding!

We bought this as a king size set from Very.co.uk for £25. It also comes in red or grey and the matching fitted sheet is available too.

Both the duvet cover and the fitted sheet are a lot thicker than I thought they’d be, making them perfect for autumn/ winter. We only have a thin duvet due to co-sleeping and this set really makes our bedroom warmer and very cosy.

Some bedding sets don’t feel very nice after sleeping in them for a few days but this one was still super soft and comfortable after a week.

My only negative really is that the colour is not the same as the picture on the website.

Picture from Very.co.uk

I actually prefer that the bedding is darker than I’d expected but I know this won’t be the case for everyone.

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For not a lot of money we have managed to make our bedroom feel a lot nicer than it did before! Erin is also a fan!

Garden storage from Keter

One of the first tasks when we bought our house was to tackle the garden. Last year we managed to finish clearing it all, get some decking laid and also get a pretty big big of lawn laid as well. It all looked beautiful until Jackson destroyed the grass with his poison pee. Anyway, the one thing we lacked was garden storage.

We have a shed at the bottom of the garden but it’s such a mess. It has woodworm, a rotten floor and a massive hole in the back where something keeps digging its way in or out. This is how it was when we moved in. We know it needs to go but we need a store for firewood at the minute.

Last month we splashed out a little bit and invested in a Keter Storage Box. Ideally, I really wanted a new shed and a wood store but we don’t have the money for that right now. This was the next best thing.

Garden storage

The Keter storage box is pretty much what you’d expect it to be; a storage box for outside. This box is actually made from plastic so it is weatherproof. This was the main selling point for me. I can’t be doing with more rotten wood.

The storage box took hardly any time at all to put together. John and I did it together because of how big it is. We managed it in less than half an hour. Most of the pieces slot together and there are only a few screws, even if a few are in awkward places.

Garden storage

The storage box is really sturdy and has so far survived some quite strong winds. Although we haven’t gotten round to it yet, you an add a lock if you want so the box is super secure. We only keep the dog food and rabbit hutch things like hay in there at the minute though.

garden storage

There is also an option to add a shelf to the inside. However, all the instructions state is buy plank of wood and screw in. The wood is not supplied. We haven’t bothered with this.

I honestly love our garden storage box. It’s got so much room in it and holds loads. I can see this being used for Erin’s scooter, bike and other outdoor toys when she’s older.

Unfortunately, these aren’t cheap even though they’re made from plastic. Ours was about £90 I think when we bought it. I didn’t mind though because it’s something that will last ages and we can move it around when we want.

I’d actually like something else from Keter and maybe do away with the wooden shed altogether one day. This is the perfect garden storage for us, especially while the garden is a work in progress.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Keeping the house clean with Zoflora

It is safe to say that a house such as ours does not stay clean for long. With me, my husband, Jackson and Erin some things need cleaning on a very regular basis. When Zoflora got in touch to see if we would like to try some of their products, I couldn’t resist!

Zoflora

Now that we have a small child as well as a very large dog, we have to be quite careful which cleaning products we use. It’s really important to me that our floors are cleaned with something safe for Jackson (and Erin when she starts crawling). Jackson is a bit of a silly dog and often throws his water on the floor then drinks it. He also licks the floor for no apparent reason.

Zoflora

Cleaning the floor with Zoflora was the obvious place to start. I was sent the Green Valley and Twilight Garden scents and I chose Twilight Garden to try first. This is a limited edition scent and is described as ‘A blend of moonlight flowering lilies with the richness of ylang and jasmine, perfectly balanced with uplifting notes of peach, apple and long lasting musk.’

To clean floors Zoflora recommends to use 4 capfuls in a 1.5 litre bucket. If you’re using around pets then please make sure they’re out of the room while floors are drying. This product is only safe when dry. Luckily, Jackson was out of the house while I cleaned so this wasn’t an issue at the time.

Zoflora

Zoflora

After using Zoflora on my kitchen floor, dining room floor and hallway I have to say that I was really impressed! As you can see from the picture above, the kitchen floor is shiny and clean and I know it was also disinfected!

I try to clean our floors as much as possible but Zoflora has made me realise I need to do it more often, especially to keep it disinfected!

I feel a bit disgusting posting these next two pictures but here is the water after cleaning three floor areas.

Zoflora

Zoflora

I was honestly quite shocked at just how dirty the water turned out!

I’m glad I have two bottles of Zoflora to keep me going. Now I want to use it on every single surface in my house. I need to get myself a good spray bottle now to make doing this easier!

Zoflora is a multi-room, multi-purpose cleaner and can be used in so many different ways. It has a 3 in 1 action formula kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses so perfect for households like ours!

Disclaimer: We were sent this product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

Pride of place

It’s been a while since I have written anything to do with the house. To be honest, I haven’t had the time or money to do anything to it. Recently though, I have given Erin pride of place in our living room.

Pride of place

A few weeks ago at Baby Sensory we were able to have a photo session with Louise Walpole Photography which was fantastic. The session didn’t cost us anything and there was no pressure to buy anything. However, I loved most of Erin’s photos so I had to buy some.

Last week I found some chunky black 7×5 frames in Sainsbury’s on sale for only £4 each. I bought 5!! I knew that I wanted black frames to do a picture wall somewhere in the house at some point so I bought all the frames Sainsbury’s had. I bought photos of Erin, 2 were 7×5 and 1 was 10×8 so I couldn’t frame all 3 pictures.

I’m not quite sure where the picture wall is going to go yet but I was desperate to put up the pictures of my little girl. Our mantelpiece needed a bit of rearranging so I decided the pictures would go there, where I could see them every day. Unfortunately this has meant wedding photos of me and John have come down now.

Pride of place

I am so in love with how this looks. The black frames are fantastic. Now I have two photos framed it makes me want to get a load more done.

We had another photo session done a couple of weeks ago and I’ll be ordering some more prints soon. I have a spare 3 frames so I know exactly what will go in them now. Unfortunately, I have no where to put them at the moment until I redecorate a room and make a feature of the framed pictures.

How do you display family photos around your home?

July nursery update

I wrote a nursery update last month and it’s already time for another. July’s nursery update is all about the new bits I have bought this month.

July's Nursery Update

I have happened to go some great places this month and I have managed to pick up some amazing pieces.

First up are a couple of bits from Elsie and Jem Crafts, a local company based in Sheringham. These I found at a school summer fair around the corner from my house. Unfortunately, the weather was terrible so we didn’t stick around long.

I ended up buying an amazing hand crafted toadstool doorstop and a needle felted fairy.

I had planned on hanging the fairy from the tree decal on the wall but she wasn’t quite right so now she lives on Erin’s wardrobe handles. Isn’t she stunning? There was more of this kind of thing available too and I desperately want something else to go with the fairy. These were both £8 each.

Next up is a wall sign I bought from the Amazona Zoo gift shop. I don’t normally bother with a gift shop but something must have caught my eye. I’m so glad I went in. They also had loads with ‘Erin’ printed on as well!2016-07-09 21.32.30The woodland and toadstool sign was the bargain price of £6. I then got three animal cards (£2.20 each) from Upstairs, Downstairs in Cromer. I absolutely love this shop. I can’t go in it without coming out with something, normally for Erin. These cards are going to hang from the little toadstool clips on the wall sign. They’re cheaper than buying proper prints!

I love buying from local businesses, especially from small crafters. I had such a lucky week of finding things for Erin and I can’t wait to find proper homes for them in her room.

Nursery update

When I was pregnant with Erin I started sorting out the nursery really early on… well, it got painted and I didn’t think much else of it to be honest. As Erin was born nearly a month early I had to wait until after she was born for the carpet to go in and really, it just ended up as a painted room. I thought it was about time for a nursery update.

Nursery Update

The nursery doesn’t actually have a door at the moment. When the carpet was fitted we realised the door didn’t fit afterwards so this needs to be shaved down (I think getting done next week) and there is also no blind in there (also getting done next week).

The only thing that was ‘pretty’ in there was the tree sticker on the wall and the furniture of course.

Now that Erin is 6 months old and will be going into her own room quite soon I thought it was about time to get it all sorted out. Recently we have bought Erin a new wardrobe with loads of storage space. This girl has way too many clothes and I hated having to have them on display before. We now have a chest of drawers in the room that isn’t really needed but I have Erin’s 3-6 month clothes and 6-9 month clothes in the drawers ready for when she finally fits in them. It’s good to have these handy at the minute because Erin keeps having really big growth spurts.

2016-06-25 11.44.43

Where Erin’s clothes used to be is now a book case for the minute until I get something that work a bit better for when she’s older. However, I do really like that we have somewhere to put Erin’s books now and also some pretty decorative items as we don’t have proper shelves. We have Erin’s homemade fabric name that I made on a shelf, owl book ends and also a beautiful family tree from Susan @ Susankman.com. There is also some space at the bottom for some toys!

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Although we don’t use it yet, Erin’s cot has recently been kitted out with a breathable cot bumper (review to come tomorrow), sheets and a blanket. It looks lovely!

2016-06-25 11.44.56

We also have a toy box in one of the alcoves. This isn’t being used yet as I need to re-paint it at some point and there is also a changing table in the room as well. There is a lot of furniture in the nursery at the minute and I want to replace some of it to match the white wardrobe. I have to think about down the line though and where a toddler bed. If I don’t, I could end up with no space at all!

2016-06-25 11.45.25

There is still a lot more I want to do in here, mainly to make the furniture match. I really want some more woodland themed items such as prints for the walls, some really cool kind of shelves (maybe some kind of bird house) and other little accessories.

Do you know of a product that would fit the theme? Do you have a woodland themed room yourself?

I’d love to know how you decorated your child’s bedroom.