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

2 Brown Handled Paint Brush

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.

4 Home Improvements That Help Homes Sell Quickly

If your home has been on the market for quite some time, it may not be selling because it doesn’t have the wow factor. So how do you add that all-important extra-special something that makes it irresistible to buyers? One of the easiest ways is to carry out some home improvements that can improve the overall quality. Potential buyers don’t want to see a badly decorated house or one that needs a lot of work doing to it. If you take care of all the hard work, your home will sell quickly and at the price you want. Ready to attract buyers with your home? Here are the five home improvements you need to do.

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Increase Curb Appeal

If your home looks scruffy from the outside, people are just going to walk right on by. So you need to boost its curb appeal. Sort out your front garden so that it’s blossoming with lots of flowers. Paint all your doors and window frames so that they look as good as new. Install some new garage doors so your garage looks very secure. You’ll be amazed at how effective taking care of the outside of your home can be!

Add An En Suite

If you have a big master bedroom, it is always worth adding an en suite bathroom to it. This may be a pricey investment, but it will certainly add a lot more value to your property. And buyers love to see en suite. It adds a touch of luxury to your home as well as practicality. After all, who wouldn’t want to roll straight into the shower first thing in the morning! It also provides privacy if the next homeowners ever have guests staying over. Thoughtful finishing touches such as heated towel rails can make all the difference, too.

Clean Your Carpets

Carpets can be terribly worn and torn after years of use. And these are some of the first things that viewers will notice. Especially if they are starting to look grimy! So it is a good idea to get on your hands and knees, and start scrubbing! You can buy special vacuum cleaners that can deep clean, as well as many cleaning solutions that you just need to rub into the carpet. If you can’t be bothered with all this effort, hire a professional carpet cleaning company to do all the hard work for you!

Redecorate

When looking around a property, potential buyers will be trying to imagine how they can put their own stamp on it. If you have a very distinctive style of interiors, they could find it difficult to see their very own style in the rooms. So before you have any viewings, it will be worth redecorating and creating a neutral environment. All you need to do is paint your walls white and remove any vibrant patterns. It could also be beneficial to remove and distinctive pieces of furniture.

Once you have made these home improvements, your house will be irresistible to buyers!

How To Afford Life’s Important Milestones

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As we go through life, there are some milestones that are unavoidable. Even if we sail through our teenage years and early twenties not wanting to settle down, this perspective on life will often change. All of these milestones are things to be truly proud of. However, there is one major downside. They are often extremely expensive. But that shouldn’t put you off trying to achieve them, though! There are so many easy ways to drum up the money for these important moments. Here’s how.

University

There’s no escaping the fact that university is super expensive these days. Yet it remains a rite of passage for many young people. There are loans that you can apply for which will help you out with tuition fees and accommodation costs. However, these can take a long time to pay off after graduation. So try to be prepared and save up for university. Even if you still have to take out loans, saving will help you get together a big lump sum to put towards paying off your debts. If you can get a part-time job through uni, do so as well. This will be a regular source of income, so you don’t have to be too reliant on loans!

Weddings

Who doesn’t dream of their ideal wedding day? If you want a lavish ceremony, you had better start saving now! There are plenty of ways to save cash while you are planning your big day, though. Look online for engagement and wedding rings as some jewelers offer online deals. One place to look is Diamonds Direct Engagement. If you have a large garden, think about holding your reception in a marquee at home. This will reduce venue costs. Many people also get family members to bake their wedding cakes. It’s a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your day!

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Kids

Babies can make a big difference to our lives. They will fill our family with a lot of love, but they can also put an extra strain on your bank balance. Once you know you are expecting, start putting money into a bank account each week. This will set some money to one side for when the baby arrives. If any relatives have just had kids, see if they have any baby clothes that they don’t need anymore. Second-hand clothes will save you a lot of money!

First Home

Housing is getting more expensive as each day goes on. Therefore, it is super important to start saving for a deposit as soon as you can. Even if you don’t have much spare money, every little helps. Don’t just put your money into a regular current account. Look for a high-interest savings account that will pay a lot of interest, helping you to increase your money. There are now also many ISAs and savings accounts aimed at first-time buyers. Pop into your local bank and ask for more information on these useful bank accounts.

If you save money wisely, it will certainly go a very long way!

Super Supplements To Give Your Diet An Extra Boost

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Eating healthily is the number one way to keep your body in great shape. By now, you will know exactly what that means. Making meals out of lots of fruits and vegetables, and cutting down on sugar and fat. But did you know you can also give your diet a little boost by supplementing it with somethings? Supplements are usually tablets and teas that contain high levels of various vitamins and minerals. You can also find some in powder form. When taken alongside a nutritious diet, they can help your body stay fit, strong, and supple. There are loads of different supplements out there in the health food shops. Not sure which ones to take? Here’s my roundup of some of the best ones.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of the world’s most popular supplements. Especially among weightlifters and those wanting to build muscle mass. It often comes in a powdered form that can be used to make milkshakes or can be simply sprinkled onto your meals. Whey protein is a byproduct produced during the cheesemaking process and is super digestible. But this amazing supplement isn’t just for those who want to bulk up. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, and it can also effectively regulate blood sugar levels. Some studies have been carried out to research this latter point. They show that taking whey protein could be effective in treating type 2 diabetes. That isn’t where the benefits stop. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory and can also relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

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Omega 3 Fish Oils

Do your kids have exams coming up soon? It could be worth getting them to take a daily dose of Omega 3 fish oils, as some studies show that they can improve brain power. But there are also some other great advantages as well. Some that may even persuade you to start taking them! Omega 3s are very beneficial for the heart and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. This is because they help with lowering blood pressure and can slow down the development of plaque in the arteries. Omega 3s are also linked to reducing asthma and depression. It’s very easy to add these oils to your diet. They are found in fish, especially in sardines, herring, and wild salmon. But you can also buy them in capsule form.

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Citicoline

Until recently, not that many people had heard of citicoline, but over the past couple of years, it has seen a boom in popularity. This chemical is produced naturally in our brain, but sometimes we can do with giving our body an extra dose to help protect our brain and neurons. Increasing your levels of citicoline will improve most of the brain’s functions. Things like memory, learning, and visual focusing will increase. Some people take it as a way to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia while others use it as a way to combat ADHD. You’ll find many top-rated Citicoline brands in your local health food store.

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Green Tea Extract

Green tea drinkers will tell you that it is a great aid for weight loss. Well, now you can tell them that they can go one step further and start adding green tea extract to their cooking! You can sneak it into various dishes if you don’t particularly like the taste of green tea. Alternatively, look for tablets of it in your local health store. So why is the extract better than just drinking the tea? As well as helping with weight loss, it can treat headaches, stomach pains, and diarrhea. Some people believe that it can be used as a cure for cancers. You don’t have to stick to just eating your green tea extract. Use it topically to relieve skin ailments, including athlete’s foot and to reduce the red puffiness under tired eyes.

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Probiotics

If you have been suffering from stomach and digestive issues lately, probiotics could help you to sort out any unbalance in your gut. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that occur in your gut naturally. These can be lost through illness, so taking supplements of probiotics will replace them and help your body get back to good health. Recent studies show that probiotics may be able to help out with more than just digestive problems. There have been studies that show they can clear up skin ailments, especially eczema. It is also widely believed that they can reduce the unpleasant symptoms of hay fever and other allergies. You can buy yogurts and other dairy products that have been enriched with these healthy bacteria. They will be ready for you to eat straight away so that you can promptly feel the benefits!

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Vitamin D

If you live in an area that doesn’t get much sun, even during the summer, it could be worth investing in some Vitamin D tablets. The vitamin is important for healthy bones and teeth as it can regulate the absorption of calcium from the blood stream. But there is a lot more to this little vitamin! New research suggests that low levels of Vitamin D can put you at risk of type 1 diabetes. And the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers can increase if you are not getting enough of the vitamin. It can also lower blood pressure, which can lead to a reduced risk of some heart diseases. Our body naturally absorbs this vitamin from sunshine, but it is also found in many food sources. There are high levels of it in eggs, cheese, and fatty fish. But many people choose to supplement their levels by taking Vitamin D tablets. Ask at your local health food shop for more information.

If you start taking these supplements, then your diet couldn’t be any more healthier! There are, of course, loads more possible supplements for you to take, all with their different benefits. If you want to find out more, there are loads of resources online! The staff at your local organic or health food shop will also be very happy to help you learn more.

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?