Easter Weekend DIY

With John being home over the Easter weekend I thought it would be a really good time to try to get a couple of things done around the house. Easter weekends seems to be a time when a lot of households dust of their paintbrushes and tools and get to work.

DIY

Our living room/ dining room is pretty big and it goes off into an ‘L’ shape at the back. This used to be our library but with Erin pulling and climbing everything, the bookcases had to go. That small space has been an awful orange colour since we moved in 3 years ago so I was determined to make it white like the rest of the room. We went in with a MASSIVE tub of white paint. The walls took 4-5 coats to completely cover the orange. While I’m so much happier now it does make me realise the rest of the room needs painting too now!

The living room is the next room on our list to get decorated properly but so far we’re having trouble finding the right paint. I love the Farrow and Ball colour we tried but I can’t justify the price tag especially when the walls aren’t in the best condition. They need skimming really and I don’t want to use expensive paint only to re-do it again in a couple of years.

The garden also needed a bit of attention! Jackson dug holes all over the place and Erin fell in one a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to fill them in for a while now. Luckily, they weren’t too deep and didn’t take much soil to fill. I’ve now added in some grass seed and I’ll hope that it starts to grow soon.

While we didn’t go mad with the DIY, I am really happy with what did get done. I feel like now that these couple of jobs have been done I can concentrate of figuring out what to do with my newly painted area. At the minute it has no purpose whatsoever! 

Top Tips for Spring Cleaning

Winter is slowly on its way out and with the first day of spring quickly approaching (20th March) there’s only one thing to do; spring clean! I think in winter I tend to get a bit lazy as the cold weather makes me less inclined to clean. I’d much rather be wrapped up on the couch with my girl, a film and a blanket.

spring clean

Sometimes we need a bit of a a kick up the bum to get going. I’m working with Bed Guru to share my tips for spring cleaning and de-cluttering. Be sure to check the end of this post for Bed Guru’s fantastic giveaway.

Clever Storage

Our spare bedroom is pretty much our ‘junk’ room. My husband would probably call it junk but really it’s all the bits and pieces I sell on Facebay. I have boxes and bags all over and it makes the room look really messy. Furniture with great storage would be a fantastic way of de-cluttering this room. Bed Guru have a fantastic range of divan beds with loads of storage options. The great thing about divans with storage drawers is that you can put loads in them and no one will ever know they’re there! We could certainly do with this in our spare room.

Be strict

Part of having a good spring clean is to be very strict what what you keep and what you don’t. Ask yourself if you’ve used something in the last couple of months. If you haven’t then it’s probably a good time to get rid!

Sell, sell, sell

While you’re in the process of having a good sort out you might as well make a bit of money from it! If you’re going to throw something out but it’s in good condition and could be useful to someone else, try selling it. Selling on local Facebook sites is a great way of earning a bit of extra cash.

Planning

I think in order to have a good, proper spring clean you need an action plan. There’s no way I could do our whole house in one day so I would need to come up with a plan of which rooms/ jobs were the most important and work my way down them. The spare bedroom will always be priority number one because it is the room with the most stuff in there!

Bed Guru are giving away a fantastic 4 drawer double divan to help with your spring cleaning! Head over to Facebook and Twitter to enter!*

*Giveaway is open until 27th March.

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

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Kids’ Prints Tree & Owl Wall Sticker

Something John and I have been working on this month is finally getting Erin’s bedroom completely finished. We’re not there yet but furniture has been ordered and a handyman has been booked to do a few bits. The walls not taken up by furniture were looking quite bare though and seeing as the room is already very neutral, I felt like it needed something that stood out. Luckily, Kids’ Prints were there to help us out!

Erin’s bedroom has a woodland theme so I had to pick the Abstract Tree with 3 Owls.

This wall sticker comes in three different sizes; small, medium and large. Each size has a different design and is priced accordingly. I chose the medium design which cost £78. The wall sticker measures approximately 150cm by 170cm. I measured up the space where I wanted the sticker to go and it seemed like it would be perfect.

The sticker arrived in a well packaged box with the sticker rolled up inside. The sticker actually comes on a large sheet with separate pieces. There are no set instructions apart from how to apply the sticker. The design can be done however you want although there is an example picture that you can sort of follow if you want to.

kids' prints

kids' prints

Before applying the sticker you need to make sure the area is clean and dry. Then, you’re ready! The different sticker pieces should be carefully peeled from the sheet and slowly applied to the wall. The sticker should be smoothed down from one end to make sure there are no air bubbles then rubbed over with a dry cloth.

The whole process was extremely simple. I managed to get the whole sticker on how I wanted it in 20 minutes. Each sticker came off the sheet easily and applied to the wall easily as well. After putting some on I changed my mind about where I wanted them but they were really simple to move and reapply.

kids' prints

kids' printsI love that this sticker is so customisable. I was able to put the branches where ever I wanted and in any direction. I could put the owls where I wanted too although I chose to put them in the same sort of place as on the sample picture as they looked so good there.

kids' prints

kids' prints

kids' prints

The wall sticker looks absolutely amazing and I think it really makes Erin’s room now. The size is perfect for where I wanted it and it looks so good. I’m glad I didn’t go for the large size though as it really would have been massive, however, extremely good value for money. Initially, I did think £78 was quite a lot for a wall sticker but now seeing how good this one looks, I would happily get another from Kids’ Prints. I cannot recommend them enough!

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

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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.

2016-09-28-10-22-26

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.