Monthly Archives: May 2016

How To Update Your Bathroom Without Replacing It

Our bathrooms are one of the rooms that get frequently used in our home. The same can be said for the kitchen. So it is no surprise that both those rooms are the ones that can add value to your house. Especially if you are considering selling it anytime soon. However, as expected, both those rooms can cost quite a lot to replace. Out of the two, the bathroom is the one that can be made to look different without the need of replacing your existing bathroom suite. If it isn’t bad then why not consider these tips to update your bathroom.

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Think about the accessories

One sure fire way to make the bathroom feel different is to add some new accessories. This can be even better if you stick with a colour scheme or theme. A great theme for a bathroom is nautical and there are some fabulous ideas on websites like Pinterest to inspire you. If you want to stick with a colour instead then this could work with the towels, toothbrush holder and cup. You could even add some vases or flowers to brighten the room up.

Add a new towel rail to make the room feel different

A great way to make your bathroom look updated is to add key features. One way of doing that is to consider a wall mounted heated towel rail. They can look very sleek and modern and give your whole bathroom a new look. There are a lot of different choices out there. So it’s worth checking out websites like http://www.bathroomradiatorsuk.com/electric-towel-rails.html to see what is available.

Consider a feature wall

If you have a wall that is painted then why not make something of it. You could paint it a different colour to match your new colour scheme. Or if you are happy with the colour then why not add some photographs in frames or something different like mirrors or framed prints. A feature wall can be what draws the eye into the bathroom. It can give the roll a whole different feel.

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Look at the little details in your bathroom

Sometimes it’s just looking at the little details that can make a big difference to how your bathroom looks. It’s noticing things like mold developing in the bathtub seal or shower. It’s making sure everywhere has been cleaned. This room gets used so often, and although you may regularly clean these things need a little more work. There are some great DIY remedies online to help solve some of these issues.

Make big changes elsewhere in the room

If replacing the bathroom suite isn’t an option then consider changing some of the other big features instead. Things like flooring or a new sink unit. Even wall mounted shelves or mirrors can make the bathroom feel totally different. It means spending some money, but not as much as it would be to have the whole room remodelled.

I hope this has inspired you to update your bathroom.

Renovating Your Home? Here’s How To Plan It

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Renovating your home is a big task. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just moved in or have already been in the house for a few years. The whole renovation can take a lot of time and effort. And, if you’re not too careful, it can easily eat into your bank balance! So it is absolutely important to sit down and carefully plan it all out before you begin. Want to know what you need to think about before starting work? Read on to find out more!

Set A Budget

You need to budget before you do anything. Figure out how much you can afford to spend on the whole project. Once you’ve decided a number, it is super important that you stick to this. Let all the workmen know what your budget is so that there is no chance they will overspend on materials. If the project seems to be going over budget, make some changes to the work. Don’t go over budget as this can be the thin end of the wedge, making it all too easy for you to end up in debt. You’ll find that house renovations on a budget are possible, they just take some careful consideration.

Talk To Different Workmen

If you are having a lot of different structural and electrical work done, you will need to hire a few different handymen. When looking for a company to hire, try to get personal recommendations from friends and family members. If no one has a workman to recommend, take your search online. Just because one company offers you the cheapest quote, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the best. You need to find the perfect balance of competitive price and excellent workmanship.

Try Samples
These days, local DIY shops will let you have samples of almost everything. You’ll be able to take strips of paper with samples of their paint colours that you can stick to your walls. This will help you choose the perfect colour scheme for your home. If you are thinking of using natural wood in your home, you should be able to find samples of different woods as well. If you can’t find any in the shop, ask the shop assistance about it.

Buy Furniture After Renovating

Don’t buy new pieces of furniture before you have done all your renovations. Otherwise, you will have to move heavy sofas and dining tables so you can do the decorating. Another benefit of waiting till all the work is done is that you can then match your furniture to your decor. Once the interiors are all finished, you will be able to have a better idea of which style of furniture will work best in your home. A perfectly planned room with complementary furniture and decor will last a long time. A lot longer than a hodge-podge design, at least! Meaning you won’t have to make frequent home improvements!

Home renovations are a great way of creating a warm and comfortable family home. Sure, they can be stressful but follow these tips and it will all go very smoothly!

Heat Holders Sock Review – Making life Warmer

THE ULTIMATE THERMAL SOCK

My feet are always the coldest part of me even with socks & slippers on.  When I was offered a pair of heat holders socks to trial I jumped at the opportunity.

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They are over 7x warmer than any pair of basic cotton socks.  They are great to wear will all types of footwear.  Especially wellies when it is freezing cold outside and you’ve got to take the dog for a walk these are just perfect to keep your feet snug and warm.  Me & my partner do alot of walking so these will be used alot.

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You can find there full range here online.  You can purchase these from lots of different places and they come in all different colours and sizes to fit all ages.

“Heat Holders are thermal socks which possess a 2.34 tog rating and have been produced using a unique three-stage knitting process. This means that our customers can be certain that wearing Heat Holders will keep their feet warm like no other sock has before. Heat Holders’ reputation has grown tremendously, with over 10 million pairs sold worldwide so far, but our success wasn’t achieved overnight. The creation of such an innovative and high-quality product took years of brain-storming, design and experimentation to get to where we are today”.

*I was sent these sock for the purpose of a review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

How To Plan A Spectacular Wedding On A Shoestring

If you’re planning a wedding, you’re probably aware that it can be an expensive business. When you put the word wedding in front of anything, it pushes costs up significantly. Before you know it, you may have broken the budget without even ticking off your to-do list. If you’re panicking about finances, don’t. Take these simple tips on board to plan a spectacular day on a shoestring. You don’t have to spend a fortune to organise an unforgettable day.

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Think about numbers

If you’re working with a tight budget, it’s really important to consider your guest list carefully. Make a list of people who you are desperate to attend and invite them to the ceremony. If there are others who you would like to see on your special day, but it’s not a priority, send them an invitation to the evening reception. You can save a lot of money by having an intimate wedding and a larger party later on in the day.

Consider getting married midweek

More and more people are shunning Saturday weddings in favour of weekdays to save money. Costs can vary hugely, and you could save thousands of pounds by swapping a weekend for a Thursday, for example. You may also wish to think about getting married out of season. Prices tend to be lower between January and March and September and December than in the summer months.

Use the Internet

The Internet can save you time, effort and money. Compare prices for entertainment, catering and suit hire online. Swap traditional paper save the dates and invitations for e-Invites. Set up a free wedding website to get in touch with guests and provide them with important information about the day. Search for deals on hotels and transport.

Don’t be afraid of DIY

If you’re creative, why not use your talents to make your own table names, place cards, and table plan? Bulk order flowers and do your own centrepieces. Make your own favours. Replace a photo booth with a DIY version. Get some hats, wigs, and glasses together and leave a camera or selfie-stick for guests to take their own shots.

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Call in some favours

Have a look through your guest list and see if any of your friends or family have skills, which could help you on your big day. Do you know a hairdresser or makeup artist? Is your auntie a master baker? Does your sister know a florist? Often, people are willing to give their time as a wedding present. It’s also really helpful to get people involved with decorating the venue and tidying up the day after.

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Wedding presents

If you’re saving for a honeymoon, why not ask guests to make a donation as their wedding present? More and more couples are choosing to do this rather than having a traditional gift list.

Weddings can be expensive, but there are ways of saving money. Follow these simple steps, and you should be able to create the day of your dreams without breaking the bank.

 

Pizza & Cider at The Stables Birmingham

On Sunday 8th May I attended my 2nd blog event which was held in Birmingham at The Stables. It was a very hot summers day and what better way to have spent it than drinking cider and making pizza?  I had never heard of this place/company before so this was a first for me, they are fairly new to Birmingham.  I went along with my sister in Law Rachel and I do love cider so was really excited to go – who wouldn’t be with alcohol & Pizza?

When we first arrived we were the first bloggers there and were handed a glass of cider, it was lovely and refreshing.

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After a few minutes lots of other bloggers started turning up we all sat on benches and got talking to lots of different people, then the general manager introduced himself to us and the other members of staff.

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We started the afternoon off with a really interesting talk and taste session with Alan from Hogan’s Cider (Above photo). There were lots of opportunity to taste a variety of flavours that ranged from very strong Scrumpy types, to bottled fizzy varieties and lastly a cider brandy. The ciders had weird and wonderful names like ‘Hazy Daisy’ and ‘French Revelation’.  They also had different flavours, but unfortunately these weren’t to my taste.

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Then came more cider but this time a “Blind Tasting” session there were 5 on a rack and we had to guess what they were.  We couldn’t guess what they were but what we could tell you was that 2 out of the 5 were yummy, 1 and 5 were my favourite.

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This is what they were.

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After testing a lot of Cider on a pretty empty stomach, it was time to indulge in the other favourite of The Stable – Pizza.  Seeing as this was a bloggers event, there was an opportunity to get into the kitchen and make our own.

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The base and sauce was done so we then chose our own toppings.  The toppings I chose were Cheese (Lots of cheese), pepperoni, onions and more cheese, but goats cheese this time.  I am really fussy when it comes to pizza toppings so was really happy when I was able choose my own and put whatever I wanted on it.

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We were allowed to have a go at getting the base into the huge ovens (not as easy as it sounds or looks when the base is so thin).  I managed to do it though (Whoop).

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After a pretty quick couple of minutes in a big hot pizza oven they were ready for tasting.  I’m not a big pizza fan (Unless i’m hungover) but my god these were amazing & delicious (Even if I do say so myself), thin crispy bases will a few of my favourite things on = one happy me.

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I would defiantly go back to The stables.

*I was invited to this event for the purpose of a review, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Utilising space in your home

We’ve been in our house15months now and still have lots of little bits to sort out.  When we moved in I saw potential in 2 little spaces in our kitchen one been the understairs cupboard and the other been like a utility that was called the “coal house”.  The previous owners used both as junk storage.  This is what I have done and it hasn’t cost me much money either.  Just proves you can do a lot with small spaces without breaking the bank.

The utility

This room once was a storage room, painted in a dark horrible colour that made it look dull and dirty, which housed a wooden storage unit full off rubbish, a washing machine, fridge/freezer and general junk. I gave it a lick of white bright paint to make the room look bigger.

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It is not a very big room but it is big enough for what I need it for.  There was no worktop there when we moved it, but I said I wanted to add a worktop to be able to put things in there e.g the microwave to keep the worktops in the kitchen free.  So to save a bit of money I phoned round kitchen places to see if I could get a pieces (I only need 1metre length) for as cheap as possible,  Well after phoning round I managed to finally find a company that had a perfectly sized piece for…FREE.  There is still plenty of room aswell both on top and underneath.

Understairs storage cupboard

Again, when we moved in this room was used as a junk room,  We cluttered the room with dog food, alcohol/Beer – Obviously most important thing, coats, ironing board and anything that would fit really.  Then I thought one day I want to maximise this space and make it in to something that was useful.  I said to my dad, can we make this room into a pantry?   He didn’t see why we couldn’t.  With me and my fiance working full-time it was difficult to find time to help my dad get it sorted, other than weekends but we always seemed to have something on.  Finally a few long months May bank holiday Monday arrived and my parents said they would come round and help get it started.  This is what it looked like before, a shell that we used as a junk store, coats, paint, alcohol, ironing board, dog stuff and more….

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After a few weeks of cutting and prepping wood and painting it all to give it a nice finish.  Then it was time to cut some battens to create the supports to fix the brackets on to.  It’s not a difficult task but took a good few hours to complete, lots of drilling, screwing and sawing later, These are the end results.

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As you can see we made sure there was plenty of spare room at the bottom for the alcohol.

I am in love with my pantry/understairs cupboard (Sad I know), but it has given us so much more space to utilise in other cupboards and drawers.

What spaces have you changed in your house?

Cocktails & Razors

Well I attended my first ever blog event a few weeks back now and what better way to start than with making your own cocktails, I love a good cocktail.

When you think about cocktails and razors it’s obviously something that you wouldn’t usually put together. Well on the 9th April this combination worked, when a group of bloggers were invited to Bar Opus in Birmingham near snowhill train station for a cocktail masterclass to celebrate the successful launch of Friction Free Shaving.

I love cocktails an often try and make them at home but was excited to have a go at making some with the pros. I love Cosmopolitan’s or a little Sex on the Beach, but it never taste a spot on what you get in bars when I make them.

I have to admit I have not heard of them up until this event so was interested to find out more about Friction Free Shaving.After hearing the background It’s pretty damn amazing idea. Basically, it is a subscription box that specialises in women’s shaving products. Each month you are sent new blades for your razor – you get the razor in your first box. I tend to shave every time I have a shower even if it’s not necessary.   How handy would it be to have some sent out every month, Save the hassle of forgetting to pick replacement blades up on your shopping.  I’ve tried so many different types of razors and nothing compares to Friction Free Shaving now as they are decent ones, with moisturisers and stuff built in. This subscription box costs between £3 and £7 a month, which I think is really good value for money, and the razors well they are Gorgeous!!

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How pretty is that?

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It is rose gold and It even had my name engraved on it, this service will be rolled out soon by Friction Free Shaving. This razor is called ‘Samantha’, and is £7 a month. I couldn’t wait to try it out… It certainly a cut above the rest.

And then onto the cocktail making.Amazing!!

The first one we made was called ‘Samantha’ – named after the above razor. This was made with gin, limoncello and lemonade it was rather refreshing and went down far too easily, like pop.

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The second one we had a go at making was called a ‘Faye’, which is the name of the £3 a month razor.  It was made with cold milk, honey Jim Beam, vanilla syrup and crushed honeycomb – I didn’t like this one very much but was ok.

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The Third and finally was the ‘Frankie’ , named after the £5 a month razor. This was the hardest one because it was created to stay in layers…It was difficult, but still tasted pretty damn good  – It was made with rose syrup, blackcurrant gin and prosecco.

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I had a great time making the cocktails and finding out more about Friction Free Shaving and meeting lots of new bloggers.

*I was invited to this event for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Planning A Photography Holiday This Summer: Tips & Tricks

We all have our hobbies, mine is card making, for example. The great thing about travel is that you can use it to enhance your skills and make yourself more passionate about your hobbies. There are vacations for all sorts of hobbies, from card making to cooking. So whatever you are interested in, there’s sure to be a trip that’s perfect for you.

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Recently, there’s been a lot of hype about photography holidays and how great they can be for budding photographers. Especially as most of these holiday photography courses are run by professional photographers. In case you’re wanting to head off on a photography vacation this summer but don’t know where to start, I’ve put together this guide for you. Packed full of all the best tips and tricks for picking the right trip, this guide should come in handy.

Look at your options

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First things first, you need to look at your options. Google photography tours and see what comes up – there’s sure to be plenty to choose from. If you’ve got a certain location in mind, make sure to put that into the search bar as well. Once you’ve found a few options, read through each one, to see what’s on offer. It’s important to look at how long the trip lasts, who it’s aimed at, and what area of photography it will focus on. This is important as if you’re an amateur photographer, you don’t want to attend a course for professionals. It’s also important to take your niche and the type of photography on offer, into account.

Choose your location carefully

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Once you know what type of trip you want to take, the next step is to choose your location. The chances are that there are numerous locations on offer, it’s just a case of working out which one is best for you. Sites like artisantravel.co.uk can be helpful for this as they not only offer a range of trips but also tailor made travel. This means that you may have the options to mold your trip to be whatever you want it to be. You can choose whether you want to be part of a large group or a small group, as well as the type of photography you focus on. You can find out more about this at selfgrowth.com.

Know what to expect

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It’s important that you know what to expect from your trip, as well as what you’ll need to pack. Depending on how long your trip is, you’ll most probably be on your feet a lot. Of course, they’ll also be some time for relaxation and socialising, but most of the time will focus on photography. It’s also worth finding out about whether you’ll receive any one-to-one tuition with the instructor. Or whether the entire course will be taught as a group.

Travel courses that specialise in a certain area like photography can be a great way to improve your skills. Unlike regular photography classes, vacation tours offer a lot more real world experience. Teaching you how to use your skills in a range of environments and situations.

Simple Steps to Take For a Healthier Waistline

There can be a lot of contradictions around dieting and losing weight. Sometimes we are told you shouldn’t do something. Then we are told that you should do something. It can all be rather confusing! With summer coming up, a lot of us might be looking for a few ways that we can be a bit healthier and shift a few pounds. That bikini isn’t going to wear itself! So here are a few tried and tested steps that you can take, to ensure some weight loss this summer. There is no need to overcomplicate dieting.

Avoid Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are, funnily enough, full of sugar. As well as the ways that sugar affects your body, you need to think about the calories. There are sugar-free drinks but they are just full of chemicals. A good idea, if you like to have fizzy drinks, is to have sparkling water. You could flavour it with lemon or lime slices or even some citrus essential oil drops.

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Have Green Smoothies

When people start a weight loss plan, they usually choose to make smoothies. This is a good option. However, it is much more likely to lead to weight loss if it is a green smoothie. If you have a smoothie that is purely fruit, it will contain a lot of sugar. This is better than eating a chocolate bar, as the sugar is natural, but not the best for a calorie controlled diet. One thing to do is to make sure that you add plenty of green leafy vegetables to the smoothie. Adding spinach or kale are fab additions. You can even add things like ginger, celery, and cucumber. They are lower in sugar than fruit and full of goodness.  Smoothie only diet

Stop Smoking

Smoking isn’t good for your health, so if you want a healthier lifestyle, you need to avoid smoking. It can lead to many health issues so you’ll want to avoid it. It might not sound like a simple step to being healthier if you are a regular smoker. You don’t need to stop cold-turkey, though. There are many options to help you quit. You could try using patches or by vaping. It is a much safer alternative. You can even choose e-liquid from an e-liquid uk store, to make sure that you have a ‘flavour’ that will help you to quit.

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Chew Your Food Slowly

One way that we overeat is because we eat our food so quickly. One way to make sure that we feel full, after having several bites, is by chewing slowly. This helps us to recognise the triggers of our body and will help us to stop when we are full. As a result, we will eat less, and shift a few pounds while we are at it.

Drink Lots of Water

A lot of diets have one thing in common; that is drinking a lot of water. Water helps to keep you feeling full, as well as helping your body to function as it should. It is a must for a healthier life and waistline!