Monthly Archives: January 2017

Exotic Furnishings To Spice Up Your Home

Many of us dream of getting away from home to somewhere more exotic. But that shouldn’t mean that the home is a place of routine and non-adventure. Why not bring a touch of the orient home by adding in some exotic features to your everyday life. Whether you’ve done some globetrotting in the past or are yearning your first adventure, these features ought to soothe your travel bug.

Build a beach-like bathroom

Make every bath feel like a trip to a faraway coast by adding some tropical details to your washroom. Exotic plants such as ferns, orchids and bamboo grow perfectly in a bathroom environment where there is little light but a lot of humidity. Add these to your bathroom and you will immediately feel transported away. Other little touches such as exotic soaps, sponges, shells, wooden towel rails and tiled beach scenes can also help to build this setting.

Connect to the world with maps

Feel connected to the places you’ve been and places you want to go with world map posters and globes. You can combine this with memories such as photos and postcards to create a more vivid representation of your travels. Alternatively you can mark out a bucket list of future locations, ticking them off on your map as you go. Immediately transform an empty wall, cupboard or fridge door.  

Go bohemian with your bedding

Your bed is where many of your dreams of past and future voyages takes place. Give your bedding an exotic feel by embracing mandalas, oriental symbols and faraway scenes. Collect cushions and pillows or buy a decorated duvet that envisages your travels.

Get exotic with your pets

If you’re an animal lover, you could go the extra mile and buy an exotic pet. You don’t have to go all out and try and raise a monkey – there are many exotic pets that don’t take too much work such as geckos, terrapins and chinchillas. Braver pet-owners may even consider snakes, spiders and cockroaches. Tropical fish are perhaps the most popular choice of exotic pet. These are very easy to look after and very easy to obtain – in fact, you can get fish delivered to your door through some aquatic companies.

Show off your souvenirs

Don’t hide your souvenirs away in a drawer. Remind yourself of the good times by boasting them around the house. You can use a drawing board instead of a scrapbook for putting tickets, wristbands, leaflets and postcards gathered on your travels (as discussed already, this can be excitingly combined with a world map to give a scale to your travels). Give room to ornaments and hang masks and hats on walls. You can also get certain photos framed and blown up. Don’t let all your travel snaps go unseen on a computer hard-drive. Give them pride of place reminding you of your adventures and offering a talking point to guests.

You’re Invited! Why You’ve Got To Get Yourself To Canada’s Biggest Ever Party

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We all know that Canada is a vast, unique and naturally beautiful country home to amazing wildlife, friendly people, and wicked extreme sports. However, we really think you should visit Canada this year. Why? Well, it’s not because Lonely Planet just named it the number one country in the world to visit, although they did, neither is it because you should stock up on organic maple syrup, although that’s good too, nope it’s because this year all of Canada’s celebrating!

Canada’s Big Birthday!

This year marks 150 years of Canada being a united confederation, instead of separate provinces and territories that were ruled by different governors. Current Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has promised that throughout the year the country will be marking the occasion in some wicked ways. What could be better than being in Canada, getting involved in all the celebrations and, of course, taking advantage of some excellent 150 Canada deals?

It’s A Year Round Party

Canada’s a great place to visit in both winter, or summer so please don’t feel like you need to wait until July, or August to enjoy all the excitement. In the winter months head to the spectacular snowy slopes of Whistler to check out their latest runs, new chair lifts, and 150 special ski competitions. When summer comes it’s time to put your hiking shoes on, hop on a mountain bike to explore the forest trails and even, yes in Canada, head down to the beach! However, due to the impending birthday celebrations, you may want to book your hotel, sort out your flights and any excursions beforehand. Check the rules on flying while filling in the

Official Canada Eta application and sort your hire car now if you plan on driving around as demand is going to be extremely high.

Already shops, restaurants and all kinds of local, and national businesses have been talking about rewarding visitors, offering special ‘birthday’ perks and freebies so if you’re looking save money on your Canada family vacation it’s the perfect time to go. Numerous large scale parties are being planned at some of Canada’s resorts, including Whistler, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise while various concerts, film festivals, historical reenactments, art competitions, sports shows and theatre productions are in the works.

What About Canada Day?

There’s stuff going on all year round but if you really want to experience the party atmosphere summer’s going to be your best bet. Most of the coolest events, such as family fun days, fairs, parades and food festivals are going to be happening around and ,of course, on July 1st or Canada Day. Ottawa, Canada’s multicultural capital, is going to be a key destination for celebrations and is already promising eager citizens, and excited visitors, a fantastic calendar of events like skating shows, firework displays, pop up stunts, mass free picnics and even a giant culture village. Plus all of Canada’s national parks, monuments, and heritage sites are offering free entry this year, so if you’ve been dying to visit Banff Island but been worried about the park fees now’s the time to book those tickets!

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Sunsets #MySundayPhoto

I love a good sunset and this one is a throwback from a few years ago when the OH and I went away for a weekend – Little did I know he was going to propose to me.  We went to Suffolk for the weekend, it was beautiful and I couldn’t resist snapping this when we were walking along the pier.

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Photalife

Exciting News, Healthy Eating & Clothes #LittleLoves

Well, I haven’t got involved in this linky for quite a few weeks as we’ve had quite a busy few weeks plus some ups & downs over the past few weeks.  

Read

While having to sit at the hospital for almost 3 hours, I luckily took my kindle with me to read. I had downloaded a book called “The Boss’s Son which is an office romance and so far is very good and makes me not want to put it down.

Heard

Before Christmas, we received some very exciting news, my fiancé & I were having our first baby. It was a big shock as we were due to get married in July this year but we have managed to postpone it and move it to the end of the year

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Watched

The last few weeks it has grown colder each day and been generally a miserable and then Thursday afternoon & Friday it started snowing very lightly, we even woke up to a dusting of snow on Friday morning but it sadly didn’t last very long and by late morning it had disappeared.

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Wore

Mainly dresses with tights as I can’t fit into my trousers anymore, I’m coming up to my half way mark of 20 weeks currently at 16 weeks so I think I will definitely be needing some new clothes very soon but I did buy myself a new top when I was out with my friend the other weekend and it was in the January Sales too.  

Made

Well, this we have done pretty well more so more than ever with food, we have been trying to eat fairly healthy but there hasn’t been any fancy flashy food made, but for a change, the OH has been taking over and helping out in the kitchen which has been amazing.  The best meal had to be a warm steak salad, it really was delicious.  I wish I had taken a picture.  And Lastly

And Lastly

Say hello to baby Cooper bump at 15 weeks, starting to feel real now.  

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What have you been up to? 

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

 

Create the Ultimate Party Garden with These Ideas

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or garden, you can do whatever you want with it. Some people simple keep a neat and tidy lawn, while others favor flowers or even vegetables. However, if you’re a more social person, you might want to use your yard as a party space. It’s the ideal space to use for gatherings of friends and family, especially if you live somewhere that has pleasant weather all year. If you want more of a party atmosphere in your garden, have a look at some of these ideas to create it.

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Focus on Food and Drink

Spending time with the people you love usually involves lots of eating and drinking. So when you design your garden, you should give that some thought. You want a space that’s suited to having a meal together, perhaps a BBQ, and enjoying some drinks too. On top of making sure there are places for people to sit, you might want to consider how you can make food or drink outside. From a grill to a full outdoor kitchen or perhaps a bar, you can create a setup that means you don’t need to keep going back inside.

Places to Sit and Stand

Parties are for socializing, so it’s important to make sure everyone can find comfortable places to sit and stand. Creating places for people to sit should be easy. You might have a dining area for when you’re serving food. You can also have a more casual lounging area, which might include sofas and armchairs. You should also consider places for people to stand for when you have lots of people to visit. Maybe you have some outdoor bar tables where people can put their drinks, for example. Do you have paths and paving to provide solid ground?

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Add a Pool or Hot Tub (or Both)

When the weather is great, sometimes you want to cool off in the pool. It’s also a great thing to center a party around. If there’s space, you could consider adding one to make your backyard more fun. However, it’s important to remember that you need to look after it. Another option is to have a hot tub. One of the excellent things about hot tubs is that you can use them in cooler weather too. They can be a great way to warm up, even if it’s really cold outside.

Set Up for All Weathers and Times of Day

Parties in your backyard don’t just have to be for the summer. You can prepare for cooler weather too. Perhaps you can have a heater or somewhere to light a fire for colder days. Some shelter could allow you to be outside even when it’s raining. You can also think about how to spend time outside when it’s dark. The right kind of lighting can create an environment for evening fun, as well as daytime parties.

The ultimate party garden could be yours with some fun additions. Get creative to design a garden you love.

My Glucose Tolerance Test – My first Pregnancy

My blood Test

I’ve heard this been spoken about and remember by Sister in Law talking about her experience but never thought I would have to go through it. Well here’s my experience.

I am now 15 weeks + 6 days pregnant and was sent a letter saying my doctor had requested me to go for a Glucose Tolerant Test (GTT). I didn’t know what to expect but was given some comforting words from friends that it wasn’t that bad, but was going to be a long day.

A week ago today the day finally came to have my glucose test, I had been dreading it. I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything other than water from 10pm the night before which was a big challenge as I love nothing more than a cup of tea in the morning, my appointment was at 9.45am at Solihull Hospital at the women unit and having been there a few times previously it was easy to find. We arrived a few minutes early after checking in at the first desk and headed down the corridor to the next desk I was asked to take a seat. They were running a little behind but not too bad. It was nice to have my mum with me so I had someone to talk to.

My View

After about 5/10 minutes of being seated, I was finally called to go and have my first set of bloods taken.  After the lady had got what she needed I was sent back to the waiting room with a jug of Lucozade and a cup, with instructions to drink it all within 5 minutes, I couldn’t walk anywhere except to the toilets.  Normally I quite like Lucozade, but a jug of it in to be drank in just five minutes on an empty stomach was not nice. Afterwards, I felt quite bloated and a little sick. I had to then sit in the waiting room for two hours, which was incredibly boring. Luckily I asked my mum to come to keep me company and give me someone to talk to.

Lucozade Drink

Then finally after a long 2 hours, I was called back in to have my final blood test done and then I was free to go home and head back to work.

After sitting down and not been able to move me and mum started walking home in the rain until my dad was able to pick us up and take us the rest of the way, because I hadn’t eaten for over 14 hours I walked into my parents house and ate about 10 custard cream biscuits, a chocolate bar and then beans on toast for lunch before heading back to work for the rest of the afternoon.

I assume I will hear the results of the test this week – fingers crossed it comes back clear!

Little Tweaks Which Can Make Your Bathroom Look Brand New Again

As much as we would love to get a new bathroom, the costs can be off-putting. After all, it can cost several thousand if you want to redo your bathroom. And after all the money we spent during the holidays, it’s funds we can’t afford to pay out for. However, all is not lost if you want to give your bathroom a spruce up. Therefore, here are some little tweaks which can make your bathroom look brand new again.

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Give it a fresh lick of paint

You can also give the walls a fresh lick of paint if you want your bathroom to look brand new again. After all, if the walls are not looking their best, it can stop the whole room looking fantastic. Therefore, go find some leftover paint which you can use to give the room a brand new look. And you could always opt for a fresh new color which will ensure the room looks amazing. Therefore, consider what color to go for to help to give the bathroom a lift. Try and stick with a set theme so that the color will match with everything else you have in the room. And remember to use a good waterproof paint which won’t fade easily in the bathroom!

Invest in new towels and accessories

It’s not always the big things that need changing in the bathroom to make a significant impact. Just by investing in some new towels in a bright color, you could change the complete look of the bathroom. Therefore, head to the store and pick out some great new towels which you can put in the bathroom. And remember to think about how you are laying them out in the bathroom. After all, you could roll them instead of folding them to add some character to your room. And it’s not just towels you can get to give your bathroom a lift. You could also buy some soaps and artificial flowers which will give the bathroom a great new look. And even some cute storage organizers to hold all your bathroom essentials would be fantastic in the bathroom.

Opt for new taps

It can cost a small fortune to replace the whole sink in your bathroom. But one way you could give the room a lift is by just replacing the taps. After all, you will be surprised how different the room can look with some new stylish new taps. And you can always find a company similar to 1st Clear Flow to come and fit the taps correctly, so they are connected to the plumbing system. There are lots of different styles around so find one which fits the theme of your bathroom.

Go for a new shower curtain

Another thing which can help to make your bathroom look great is a new shower curtain. After all, if you go for a funky design, it will become a focal point in your bathroom. There are many fun ones around so make sure you check out all the different options. And get one which is easy to clean as they pick up so much grime and dirt!

And just giving it a good clean can help it to look brand new again. After all, a sparkly sink will ensure it looks fabulous for when you have visitors.

The Essential Apps for Kids (Peace of Mind for Adults)

There are so many apps popping up on the market that you’d be hard pressed to choose just one. From games to music to entertainment, if you can think of it then there is probably an app designed for it. (Just as a quick tip, if there isn’t an app designed for what you’re thinking of – go, go, go! There is money to be made!)

But are you taking advantage of what is out there? Especially where children are concerned, have you got everything covered to keep them happy and busy should the situation arise? Here are some bases to cover to make sure that you are up to date with the new trends.

There are so many apps popping up on the market that you’d be hard pressed to choose just one. From games to music to entertainment, if you can think of it then there is probably an app designed for it. (Just as a quick tip, if there isn’t an app designed for what you’re thinking of – go, go, go! There is money to be made!)

But are you taking advantage of what is out there? Especially where children are concerned, have you got everything covered to keep them happy and busy should the situation arise? Here are some bases to cover to make sure that you are up to date with the new trends.

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Live Streaming

It’s taking the world by storm, and means that you will never be able to miss an episode of a show or that film you’d been dying to watch but forgotten to record. Download an app such as Showbox and you can make sure that you kids never miss a trick when it comes to keeping up with their favourite television programmes.

Photo Editing

It’s not just adults who are getting the hang of Instagram and Snapchat – more and more children are signing up to the services (despite them having to be over the age of 13 to do so). Instead of going forth with a social media sites such as these, which could compromise their safety if not used correctly, think about downloading a simple photo editing app. They can show their friends in person rather than online – sometimes keeping things traditional can be a great help.

Games

Where does it begin and where does it end? The choices just seem to go on and on. Make sure that your children are playing age-appropriate games by adjusting the search settings on your App Store. Know what the next big games are by checking out what’s doing well in the ratings – anything that is being raved about will pop straight up. Remember to read the reviews to ensure that you are downloading something that’s engaging rather than wasting precious memory space with something that will turn into a bore-fest after half an hour.

Science apps

If you want to encourage learning on the go (or the kids do), there are many science apps out there which will help with education. Science is a broad subject and covers things such as nature, biology, chemistry and astronomy to name but a few, so why not have a good scout around and see what takes your fancy? If you have always wondered what the constellations of stars are called up above you, or you’ve seen a bird that you can’t quite identify, these are absolutely invaluable at providing resources in the palm of your hand.

Live Streaming

It’s taking the world by storm, and means that you will never be able to miss an episode of a show or that film you’d been dying to watch but forgotten to record. Download an app such as Showbox and you can make sure that you kids never miss a trick when it comes to keeping up with their favourite television programmes.

Photo Editing

It’s not just adults who are getting the hang of Instagram and Snapchat – more and more children are signing up to the services (despite them having to be over the age of 13 to do so). Instead of going forth with a social media sites such as these, which could compromise their safety if not used correctly, think about downloading a simple photo editing app. They can show their friends in person rather than online – sometimes keeping things traditional can be a great help.

Games

Where does it begin and where does it end? The choices just seem to go on and on. Make sure that your children are playing age-appropriate games by adjusting the search settings on your App Store. Know what the next big games are by checking out what’s doing well in the ratings – anything that is being raved about will pop straight up. Remember to read the reviews to ensure that you are downloading something that’s engaging rather than wasting precious memory space with something that will turn into a bore-fest after half an hour.

Science apps

If you want to encourage learning on the go (or the kids do), there are many science apps out there which will help with education. Science is a broad subject and covers things such as nature, biology, chemistry and astronomy to name but a few, so why not have a good scout around and see what takes your fancy? If you have always wondered what the constellations of stars are called up above you, or you’ve seen a bird that you can’t quite identify, these are absolutely invaluable at providing resources in the palm of your hand.

Toxin Free Ways to get Rid of Hard Water Stains

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Hard water, which is water that has a high mineral content, is a plague on the homes and the clothes of the people who happen to live in a hard water area. Everything that hard water touches can become tainted with horrible, gritty, mineral deposits, which can build up and cause stains.

Fortunately, if you are suffering the horrors of hard water, but you don’t want to use harsh chemical lime scale removers to get rid of hard water stains, there are a number of things you can do.

Perhaps, the most convenient way to rid yourself of the hard water problem is to install a water softener system which will treat all of the hard water coming into your home before it can cause any problem. In the meantime, these natural hard water stain removal remedies may prove useful:

Taps

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To remove hard water stains from taps, simply peel a lemon and scrub the faucet with the rind. Once you have done this, soak a few paper towels in white vinegar and place them over the taps. Leave for one hour, remove and rinse. Your taps will look as good as new!

Showers

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The shower head can be a particular problem when it comes to limescale build up, but it is actually very easy to clean it using just vinegar and water. Simply take down your showerhead and submerge it in white vinegar for a few hours before rinsing with water. Do this once a week, and you’ll never have a staining issue again.

Shower Doors

If you have a shower with glass doors and you live in a hard water area, you are probably driven crazy by streaks on a regular basis. Again, white vinegar is your friend. Simply pour a little white vinegar into a spray bottle and apply to your shower door before wiping with a cloth. Alternatively, you can apply a glass of white wine to the area.

Dishwashers

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If you allow hard water deposits to build up in your dishwasher, it won’t be long until you’re back to washing by hand. To avoid the extra work, simply add a cup of white vinegar to the empty dishwasher and let it run one cycle.

Toilets

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If hard water is leaving unsightly marks on your toilet bowl, head to the fridge and pick up a can of cola. Pour the cola into the bowl wait one hour and flush. Of course, you could also use a couple of cup of trusty white vinegar if you prefer.

Kettles and Coffee Makers

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There’s nothing worse than making a nice cup of homemade coffee only to find out that the taste has been tainted by the buildup of mineral deposits. In order to avoid such a frustrating situation from developing, empty your kettle or coffee machine after every use and once a week, fill the water reservoir up with vinegar and in the case of a kettle, leave for one hour before rinsing. If you are cleaning a coffee machine, after you put the vinegar in, you should run the machine for one cycle empty and run two further cycles with water.

15 Week Bump update – My First Pregnancy

Well, I’m a little late with this post and I’m now 15 weeks + 4

It’s weird to say we have only known I have been pregnant for 6 weeks and now I am nearly half way through and in my 2nd trimester – scary.  So far it hasn’t been too bad, I’ve had no sickness at all which I am super happy about.

The last few weeks my bump has started to make an appearance which I am super excited about but you can see it more in certain clothes and I can’t stop touching it, stroking it and maybe occasionally talking to it.

My 15 week baby bump

In terms of how I am feeling – pretty good right now, just tiredness but I have got energy and am resting every chance I have and having a lie in at weekends while the OH is at work.  I am needing to wee pretty much every morning around 4 am, but I am sleeping quite well most night apart from the odd one where I am waking up in the night and tossing and turning and then feeling knackered in the morning.  I haven’t had any cravings yet either but I have been getting heartburn the last few days which I have really started to notice so will be needing to get myself some gaviscon soon.

We have chosen a girls name – we think but are still undecided on a boys names as yet but we have plenty of time.  The date for our 20-week scan has come through for the end of beginning of February. This will check everything is ok with the baby, and we are going to keep the sex a complete surprise for us and for everyone else as it is our first baby.

Watch out for my next update!