Creating Our Photo Wall

We’ve lived in our home 4 years now, and in those 4 years we have done so much to the house, decorating, rewiring, building work, and a new bathroom last year and more but one thing, and the most important to me is photos.  We hardly had any photos up around the house of us, our families or nieces/nephews.

A house to me is a not a home without memories in the way of photos, so I changed this immediately and decided on creating a photo wall in the lounge.

I wanted all the photos in one place for everyone to see when they visited our home, the first picture frame I ordered was the “Daddy” frame for Father’s Day here and we have built it from there.  I then brought the “Freddie” and “Mummy” frames a few months later to make the set complete, but yet to still fill them with photos.  We built the rest around them in no particular order, and still have Christmas photos from the last two years to frame and put up.

We did have loads of photos but none were printed out as we’ve never got round to it.  The large middle frame my husband gave me for my birthday it’s a professional photo shoot we had done a few months before.

I want to change the end one of the 3 of us at our pre wedding photo shoot as my husbands head is chopped off.  We have got new additions to add of Freddie’s first nursery photos.

We will then move and start with some memories up the stairs and in the bedrooms

Have you got a photo wall in your house? would love to see yours for inspiration.

Vax Blade 2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner | Review

Hands up if you actually enjoy vacuuming?  I don’t!

I can’t say it’s ever been one of my most favourite jobs to do,  lugging a vacuum every which way wherever you need it to be, finding or been able to access a plug socket, doing half a room before having to unplug and plug it in somewhere closer to get it to reach into those hard corners.

We had asked for one for Christmas from my parents, the continual thought of dragging one up and down the stairs until we could save up for a decent one had filled me with dread, but it’s no longer something I need to worry about.

With having a dog that is forever malting and a toddler who throws/drops food everywhere I wanted a vacuum I could quickly whizz around the house daily.  We were given the Vax blade 2.

The Vax Blade 2 is cordless, so I don’t have to worry about any cables getting in the way anymore.  The part I hated the most was doing the stairs and trying to balance the vacuum while trying to clean, now that has gone and it so much easier.

It’s as powerful as a conventional vacuum. It takes four hours to fully charge and gives you 45 minutes cleaning time – more than enough time to do the whole house.  There are lights on the handle to let you know how much power is left and lights when the brush is rotating to allow you to see what’s on the floor.

We use it with the long pole attached to do the laminate throughout the downstairs and the carpets upstairs, but  also included with the vacuum was a selection of other attachments to do other jobs.

It retails at around £200 and is well worth every penny.  I would highly recommend this vacuum.

  • We were given this product as a Christmas present.  However all words and opinions are our own. 

Meal Planning Monday 14/01/19

These weeks are flying by again, we have had a good week but a little boy who most of last week was teething, even though he was happy in himself his bottom told us otherwise,  it was red and extremely sore every time we changed him and trying to clean him he would really cry and flinch, I felt like the worst mum ever.

This weeks meal plans are:

Sausage and mash bake with vegetables

Lamb chops, roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy

Chicken curry and basmati rice with naan bread

Pan fried pork with homemade wedges

Burritos and salad

Stir fry

Roast dinner with all the trimmings

Have you got back on plan since Christmas?

My 19 Aims for 2019

I found this from the lovely Donna over at What the redhead said and thought if I could come up with my own 19 Aims?  It a great way to get inspiration and help yourself out.  So here goes:

  1. To build my blog up, schedule more posts, have more contents and manage it better overall. With going back to work full-time after maternity last year I have struggled to keep on top of everything.
  2. Keeping along the same line as point 1, I want to aim to build up my handcrafted card stationery business I have been making cards for a number of years now, and with making my own wedding invitations back in 2017, and a friend’s Wedding stationery in 2018 it made me realize how much I want to expand.
  3. One day maybe be able to be self employed and working for myself to be able to have more time at home with my family and more flexible working hours.
  4. I need to drink more water and will be aiming to just drink water aside from my several flasks of tea a day , I just forget to drink it.
  5. Now on to the health theme I’d love to lose weight this year. No, I will lose weight this year. I have tried for many years but never succeeded.  I’m adamant to try to lose my baby weight as we’ve got two holidays abroad this year and want to feel confident in my bikini, but we’ll see how it goes!
  6. Exercise more, I walk every day to and from the train station but I want to try and do more such as running or general keep fit.
  7. I need to stop worrying and stressing about money, since going back to work after maternity leave and having nursery fees to pay on top of our household bills and mortgage, things can be a little tight each month and I do get stressed about it, and I need to stop as I know we will be OK and have the support of others.
  8. I have always had a passion for taking photos, but i’m not very good at getting a decent one.  My aim would be to practice different angles and layouts instead of just a photo of the product against the same backgrounds in the same positions.
  9. I need to try and keep on top of the house work and keeping it clean and tidy, the house is never dirty but it always looks a mess which really frustrates me.
  10. Although we meal plan each week I want to aim to cook from scratch more often as it’s something I really miss. I made butternut squash soup the other weekend and I enjoyed it.
  11. Travel more – within reason, we never had a honeymoon but I want to make up for it now Freddie is getting older.  I love visiting new places/countries and have got a few on my bucket list to visit.
  12. Spend more time together, as a married couple date nights are a very rare occasion but I want to try at least once a month to try and just go out just for a few hours whether for a meal, spa day, shopping just us 2.
  13. Read More, I do own a kindle but need to find some new books to read and i’ve read all of them.
  14. Do more as a family, days out even if its just a trip to the park. Doesn’t have to be expensive just to get us out the house.
  15. Have a scheduled day to go food shopping,  at the moment I go when I feel like it, I don’t have a set day to go and the husband always moans at me and then we struggle to find meals to make.
  16. Try and put a set amount of money away in my savings account each month, no matter how small.
  17. Try and decorate the house from top to bottom and make it more modern to go with the new bathroom.
  18. I’ve realised that I use my phone a lot and it would be nice to use my phone less and concentrate on other things more.
  19. Stop relying on my family so much for simple tasks such as renewals of insurances, bills etc and do it myself…

Wow that was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I made it.  I will keep you posted on how I get on with achieving these.

Do you have any resolutions or aims for 2019? I’d love to hear about them to give me even more inspiration this year.

B-Sensible Bedding Review

One thing I love is clean sheets, I change our bed once a week without fail.  I sometimes worry I’m not going to have enough bedding, yet the draw is over flowing with quilt sets.

When B-sensible got in contact and offered us to review bedding I jumped straight on their website.  B-Sensible offer a range of 2 in 1 bedding products that are both breathable and waterproof. Along with their 2 in 1 bed sheets for adult beds, they also sell sheets for cots, cot beds and toddler beds.

I choose the turquoise sheet and matching pillow cases for our bed, they are super soft and wouldn’t know they have a protective cover underneath as you don’t feel it or hear it.

Where to buy: Fitted sheet protector double turquoise – £50.00

Where to buy: Pillowcase protector turquoise – £14.00

Along with bed sheet we also have matching pillowcases, which are also waterproof and breathable. Something a bit different about this pillowcase is that it zips closed, instead of having the traditional fold inside.

For Freddie the white breathable and waterproof sheet, this would be perfect for when we start potty training him as if there were accidents in the night  it wouldn’t ruin his mattress.  Unfortunately I ordered the wrong size so it doesn’t fit his mattress.

Where to BuyFitted sheet protector cot white – £24.00

My Thoughts

I would be sure to buy these but they are a bit on the expensive side , if they were cheaper I would buy them and swap all our bedding for this brand.

Disclaimer: We received the above products for the purpose of this review. However all  thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Meal Planning Monday 7/01/19

Wow, How weird does it feel to be writing and saying 2019?

How has everyone’s first week of January gone?

Mine’s been a bit crazy but OK so far. This year I aim to be more organised, with general life and my blog.

This week we are going to eat:

Lasagna & garlic bread

Pizza & chips

Chicken & bacon wrapped in Puff pastry with homemade wedges

Tuna Pasta Bake

Chicken Stir fry

Pan Fried Pork

Starter – Homemade butternut squash soup & Main – Roast dinner with all the trimmings

What’s on your plate this week?

Meal Planning Monday 31/12/2018

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!

This is the last meal planning Monday of 2018, where has this year gone?

It been a great year but now it’s on to 2019 and see what that has in store for us.

This year we have two holidays abroad plus two weddings so i’m aiming to try and be semi healthy and get my arse into shape ready to put my bikini and party shoes on.

This week consists of:

Eating & Drinking

Eating & Drinking

Jacket potato’s, cheese/Beans & Salad

Lasanga & Garlic Bread

Chicken wrapped in bacon completed in puff pastry

Hope you all have a great New Year!!

What I thought of Dublin

Back in October we arranged a surprise trip to Dublin for a weekend for our Friends 30th Birthday, his wife organised it all and we had a great time – Kid free too.

Image may contain: Tom Cooper, Kim Cooper, Laura Checkley and Craig Checkley, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Here is what I thought?

I have never been to Dublin but the others had but it was a city I wanted to visit.  We had an early flight and surprised our friend at the airport, and he was shocked and a little confused when we walked over to him.

We arrived in the town centre around lunchtime and headed straight to find food, then the pub crawl started.  There was a few places I wanted to visit whilst I was there to tick off my list.

Temple Bar

Image may contain: 6 people, including Tom Cooper, Craig Checkley and Kim Cooper, people smiling, outdoor and indoor

This was one bar I really wanted to visit and we did, and I’m so glad we did, it was packed but was so worth it, there was a live band singing Irish songs and lots of people dancing. Me and Laura got shamrocks  glitter tattoos on our cheeks.  The atmosphere was amazing.

Dublin Castle

Image result for dublin castle

Image may contain: Tom Cooper and Kim Cooper, people smiling, outdoor

I’m not a cultural person but when we went to Dublin I wanted to visit the castle so on the Saturday Morning, we got up and did exactly that, the sun was shining but was chilly still.  The gardens and surrounding grounds were beautiful.

Jameson’s Distillery

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Image may contain: 3 people, including Tom Cooper and Kim Cooper, people smiling, indoor

I don’t like whiskey but wanted to go on a tour to the factory as my husband wanted to see it to, as he had already experienced the Guinness factory.  You know what the drinks were really nice.  We were gutted we couldn’t get on the tours as they were booked up.

Have you been to Dublin?  I would recommend a visit if you can.

Our Christmas Decorations | 2018

We’ve always loved Christmas in our house but since having our little boy it has felt so much more magical and exciting.  Each year I try and buy a new tree decoration to hang on the tree of places we have visited.

This year we have lots of new additions to the Cooper household.

Our first new addition is the big guy himself, I bought him last year in the sale at Homebase but never got round to putting him up, but found the perfect spot for him this year on the porch roof.

This is by far my most favourite new addition, In the 4 years we have lived here this is only the second year we have had a wreath on the door, but this one is now for life and I love it. You can purchase these from here

The front of the house has always looked bare so last year we have some white icicle lights but when we put them up some of them didn’t work, so this year we bought some new ones from B&M here

The lantern my husband saw and liked it and we found the perfect spot for it and you can purchase it from here.  

And of course our Christmas Tree.  Again this was a new one I bought last year from the homebase sale, we had one we were gifted but had seen better days.

Here are just a few decorations that are new this year: My favourite two are the one from Dublin and the “Drink Me” baubles.  They are from various places including Clintons, Asda, The Gift Experience & Dublin

What is your tradition at Christmas?

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Find a penny, pick it up…

Over the last 4 year, with 2018 been my 5th year, I have been picking money up off the floor.  I started recording what I found back in 2014 just out of curiosity.

Am I a tramp for doing this?  I don’t think I am, but each person has there own opinion and that is fine.

Gold Coin

Whether it’s pennies, small change or even the odd occasion of a note I find, I pick it up, I don’t even hesitate and put it straight in my pocket.  I  don’t class this as stealing, as it is not like it is  at a cash machine etc but just change that someone has either dropped or discarded.

Stats

2014 -£45.24 – This was my biggest find so far

2015 – £5.74

2016  – £9.11

2017 – £20.14

2018 – £12.22 – So far, will up date at the end of December

I know it isn’t a lot of money over the 12 months, but it doesn’t matter to me and takes no effort to pick it up.

what do I do with it at the end of each year?

It gets put into another pot ready to go into our savings accounts, as my moto is “Every penny counts” and helps towards something we may want to buy in the future.

Would love for you to leave your opinions on this and if this is something you would or wouldn’t do and why.