All posts by Kim

About Kim

Wife to Tom, First time Mummy to Little Boy Freddie and Auntie to 4 Boys & 1 Girl.

5 Good Reasons Why All Parents Should Buy A Shed

Sheds don’t have just to be for storing your garden equipment. I’ve seen some spectacular and creative examples of some amazing sheds in the past few months. And, if you are a parent, they can be so valuable for a variety of reasons.

So, today, I’m going to go through some of the reasons why you should consider building a shed in your garden. While some people see them as an eyesore, if you can see past the effect it has on your garden landscape, it has plenty of uses. Let’s take a closer look.

Instant home for garden toys

I don’t know about you, but I have spent hours at a time cleaning up after children in the backyard. Kids just love playing outside – but tidying up seems to be beyond them in many cases! A shed is a perfect place to store all their toys and keep them in excellent condition. No more sun damage and discolouration of plastics. No more slugs and woodlice using your children’s toys as a hidey-hole. And, a place to tidy everything away and keep your garden safe and looking great.

A home office

Work from home? It’s more common than ever these days, but it can be a nightmare when the kids are around. If you have the space in your home for a spare room to double as an office, then think yourself lucky. If you don’t, however, think about getting a shed in the garden and turning it into an office. You’ll need to make sure it is sealed up and safe from damp – some specialist shed paint from the likes of Paints 4 Trade should do the trick. Then, it’s just a case of calling an electrician to wire up some power points for you. Sure, there’s an expense involved, but it’s far cheaper than what you will pay to move to a bigger home with more rooms.

A bedroom for visitors

One thing you will notice straight away when you have kids is that don’t have a lot of room for overnight guests. It’s a shame, particularly if you are a sociable and friendly family. So, why not think about turning your shed into a guest room? Get some heating in there, seal everything up as described above, and convert it into a quiet little retreat for your guests.

Games room

Are your kids getting older? If so, why not turn a shed into their games room? You will win on two different levels. First of all, your teens will have a place to relax, and it helps give them some independence. Secondly, it will give you the chance to start getting some of their mountains of stuff out of the main living area. I don’t know a parent out there that is looking forward to that day!

A summer house

If you like spending time in the garden as a family, then why not double up your shed as a summer house? It’s the perfect excuse to spend more time in the sun – while protecting you from it when those UV rays are at their peak.

What To Look For In A New Home

This is a photo of a light mint green old VW beetle car in front of a wodden house with a white fence in a residential area in a typical american street. There is a yucca palm tree in the lawn of the house. The sun is shining brightly.

When you are in the process of buying a new home, there is a lot to consider. Regardless of how many times you have been through the process before, you need to take a lot on board. However, with a little forward-thinking and maybe some assistance, it can be easier than you might think. One of the main hurdles lies in knowing what exactly you should look for. This can be tricky; many people don’t know exactly what it is that they are keen to have. However, it is in your benefit to have some idea of what you want. That way, you will know what to watch out for – and that makes the process of viewing properties a lot easier. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the main things you should be looking for in your new home.

Structurally Sound

This first one is a basic concern, and yet it is often overlooked in favor of more cosmetic issues. However, there is little use in moving into a new home if it is not structurally sound. When you are viewing properties, be sure to check that the structure of the building is as safe as can be. Knowing what to look for in relation to this is helpful, of course. Keep an eye out for any bowed walls or beams, for example. This could be a sign of underlying issues which might take a lot of money and time to fix. Similarly, look out for damp or mold, as you want to avoid this at all costs. If you use professionals like Brinkleys Estate Agents, then they can help you to look out for such signs.

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Storage

It all depends on how much you have to move over, but storage is likely to be at least partially important for you. If you have a huge amount, or you are moving with your family, then it is probably very important. With that in mind, keep an eye out when you are viewing properties. Look not only for existing storage space, but options for where you could create more yourself if you needed to. There are few things worse than moving into a new home only to find that there is not enough space for your belongings. Avoid this trouble altogether by remembering to look out for storage solutions from the outset.

Good Neighbourhood

Obviously, the last thing you want is to move somewhere where you don’t feel wanted, or safe. This might be particularly important if you are moving with your family. Safety is a key concern for just about anyone, of course. So make sure that you carry out some research on the area. The safest way to go about this is to stick to areas that you know well. However, if you are hoping to go further afield, then just make sure you do your research. There are few things worse than moving in somewhere only to feel unsafe in your own home.

Hospital Letters, Homemade food & The Euro #LittleLoves

Hello, and Hello June! I’m back in the game… sorry I dissappeared had a lot going on and didn’t have time to keep up with everything.  So here is my #LittleLoves for June

Read

Well I have read lots of hospital letter that have come to me over the last few months. I’ve been in hospital today having a mini procedure,  I’ve had to have an insertable cardiac monitor fitted to monitor my heart as I keep having fainting spells.  I’m ok it was over very quick but just a little sore now.

Watched

Football and lots of it.  The Euro will be starting soon so been watching the pre matches or whatever you call them (I’m not really a footy person).  I do watch it when England play.

Wore

Well as the weather has been slowly improving I have been able to wear more summerish clothes which has been lovely.

Made

I have never been a great imaginative cook but I have tried some new things for tea recently, Making meat balls from scratch & Bacon and cheese puffs .  They were pretty delicious if I do say so myself.

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Heard

About the shooting of the gorilla in the US for the protection of the child. Very sad but I supose you will ever know exactly what happened.

And Finally…

I can finally say I go on Holiday this month to sunny Spain, I can’t wait need it so much. 10 whole days in the sun.

Hope your first week in June has gone well?

To Break Up Or Not To Break Up?

Are you and your partner having relationship troubles? Are you struggling with the idea of breaking up, but want to know what’s best for you both? The steps in this guide will help you when it comes to what to do when you’re at a relationship crossroads. Good luck!

Communicate Your Needs

The first thing you should do is make sure you’ve spoken with your partner about what you need from them and the relationship. If you haven’t physically told them straight up what you need, then you can’t expect them to know. They are not a mind reader, and it isn’t fair to expect them to read between the lines either. When you’re both in good moods, speak to them about what you’d like more of. Make sure you choose your words carefully here, and never blame them or point the finger. Make sure you talk about how you feel, rather than how they ‘make’ you feel or what they do.

Compromise

Relationships are all about compromise. If you expect your partner to do more for you, you should be willing to do more for them. Relationships are give and take, and you both need to be willing to put as much effort in as one another. Ask them if there’s anything they need or want from you. You both need to want to make it work.

Consider Future Plans

If you and your partner have run into problems and your futures are looking drastically different, then it’s a sign you might want to call it a day before things get even trickier. This way, you may be able to split up amicably rather than waiting until the whole thing has turned completely sour. A UK divorce website can make the splitting up process easier.

Be Selfish

While you don’t want to hurt your partner, it’s OK to be selfish if this is really what you want. If the break up is what you want but not what they want, your only job is to be honest with them and as kind as you can be. Being kind doesn’t mean being there for them when they are sad. It means cutting off all contact to avoid giving them mixed signals.

Ask Yourself Important Questions

To help you work out whether it’s time to break up or not, you should ask yourself some important questions. Here are some to give you an idea on how to get more clarity on the situation:

  • Do I love this person?
  • Is there any way we can work on this relationship?
  • Do we have similar visions for the future?
  • Does this person bring out the best or worse in me?
  • Does this person respect me?
  • Am I loved unconditionally?
  • How do I feel around this person and in the relationship?

Hopefully your answers to those questions will help you to decide on the best course of action for you both. Even if you’re the person who does the breaking up, you’re still going to find leaving a person difficult to some extent. If you know it’s the right thing, stick to your guns and stay strong.

The Baby Show NEC Birmingham Review

I was given the opportunity to go to the Baby show at the NEC Birmingham which ran from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th May.  I went last year as well with my sister in Law.

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I decided to take my friend with me and we headed out  to the show on the Saturday, we arrived around 10am and it was already starting to fill up.  When we first walked in you could see how many different brands had come from all over to be there for the weekend. Some of the larger well known brands that I saw were, and many more.

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There were a lot more brands some I had heard of some I hadn’t. Plus some smaller brands.  I had a chat with some of the lovely people who were exhibiting to get more background on their businesses and what they had to offer.

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There was so much going on throughout the day, talks, cat walk shows, freebies and even the odd celebrity, but sadly I never met any of them.

Because I was press I was given the opportunity to meet and chat to the lovely people at Nuby and My little Duckling to find out more about their products.

Nuby have recently released a new bottle for newborns called the Nuby Natural Touch 360˚.

COMING SOON! NEW 360 Anti Relfux and Colic Bottles - Boy

NEW Nûby Natural Touch 360˚, is a revolutionary bottle designed for babies with reflux and colic symptoms.

  1. Reduces Reflux – as the weighted straw allows baby to feed in the upright position until the last drops of the feed.
  2. Combats Colic – with three advanced anti-colic valves which help prevent vacuum build up inside the bottle and avoids baby swallowing air.
  3. Allows 360˚ Any Angle Feeding – baby can latch-on at any angle around the teat and parents can feed in any position or hold that feels right.
  4. 9/10 Baby Accepted Teat – compatible with the baby-accepted multi-award winning* Natural Touch breast-like teats (2 pack at just £3.99).

Priced at just £12.99 – I think this is really good value.  * I was gifted a set of these bottles.

I was also gifted this gorgeous unisex set of 6 bottles – Aren’t they just gorgeous.

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Later on it was time to meet the lovely people at My Little Duckling, they are a company that bring beautiful, fun and imaginative sets dedicated for babies and toddlers. Their products were an adorable array of all different styles, designs and colours.  I was asked if I wanted a set to review, It was hard to choice just one as they were all just wonderful but eventually with some help chose this one.

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Here it is modelled by my little assistant

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We then decided to stop for some lunch and have a little rest.  After lunch we then walked back round to make sure we hadn’t missed any stores.My friend was looking for a baby carrier.

Finally Tommee Tippee was the last largest store I visited with my friend as she wanted to look round.  I spoke to a lovely lady there who spotted my press wrist band so I handed my business card to them and out of the blue she gave me one of their new “Ultra” Bottles and some milestone cards.

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RRP is £8.99

Facts about the Ultra

  • The revolutionary new Ultra bottle has an extra-wide silicone teat, shaped like a breast offering baby a natural latch, making it easy to switch between breast and bottle feeding.
  • The Ultra teat has a contour zone at the base of the teat which forms a perfect seal with baby’s mouth, reducing the risk of air intake and preventing messy dribbles.
  • A unique, angled teat allows the milk to flow smoothly from the bottle whilst you baby remains in a comfortable upright position, no more tipping baby to reach the last part of the feed.
  • The Ultra bottle delivers you a natural breast-like latch, a perfectly secure seal and angled position for a continuous milk flow resulting in a perfect feeding experience
  • Ultra, the only baby bottle you will ever need. For the ultimate latch, seal and flow!

Key Features

* Breast-like shape for a natural latch and easy switching between breast and bottle

* Contour zone on teat allows for a secure seal reducing air intake and dribbles

* Revolutionary, offset teat angles the bottle for a smooth milk flow

* Unique, ergonomic bottle shape for greater comfort and bottle control

* Super-sensitive teat eliminates excessive air flow

* BPA-free for your ultimate reassurance

* Suitable from birth

* Ultra teats are compatible with the Ultra bottle base only

To find out more about their products visit their website on http://www.tommeetippee.co.uk/

There was so many different companies, We could have stayed there all day.

We finally left after spending 5 hours there, but what a lovely day me and my friend had, will defiantly go again.

*I was given complimentary Tickets to the show, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Make Your Kitchen Homely And Practical With These Handy Tips

Kitchens are one of the most-used rooms in a home. We can spend hours in their cooking. And if you have your dining table in your kitchen, you will spend even more time in there! They are great places to socialise during parties and also become a hub of activity during dinner parties. So it is very important that your kitchen is both homely and practical. So how do you combine these two sides? Here are some helpful tips to getting it right.

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Use Stylish Materials

It is very important that your kitchen is hygienic so that it is the perfect environment for preparing food. Because of the importance of a clean kitchen, it can be very easy to design a very sterile kitchen. This isn’t too great for its homeliness! One of the best ways to get the best of both worlds is to use stylish materials such as granite and marble. Granite Worktops are easy to clean and will also look very chic.

Add Personal Touches

If your kitchen is quite cold, you can add personal touches to it to help brighten it up and also add your personality to its decor. This can be very easy to do. One of the quickest personal touches is sticking your young children’s art onto your refrigerator door. You can also add some family photos and postcards. If you have any other trinkets from trips abroad or that are related to your hobbies, try to incorporate them into your decor.

Green and Orange Vegetables on Black Frying Pan

Incorporate Features Of The House

This only really applies if you live in a very old home. One exciting way to revamp your kitchen can be to strip out all the current appliances and fittings. Then you can expose all of the property’s original features. Strip away the ceiling to expose any original wooden beams. You can also strip off any plaster from the walls to expose the brickwork. This will look very stylish in old farm houses and cosy cottages.

Add Comfy Furniture

If you have enough space, add some comfy furniture to your kitchen. You shouldn’t just have a dining table and chairs as the only place to sit at. If you bring in some more armchairs, you can create a comfortable sitting area. By creating this seating area, you are giving yourself more reason to spend time in your kitchen and enjoy its surroundings. To really ramp up the comfort factor, bring in some coffee tables and foot stools as well. One of the benefits of relaxing in your kitchen means you won’t need to go far to make a cup of tea!

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Dim The Lights

Add dimmer lights so you can alter your lighting depending on what you are doing. If you are preparing a meal, turn them up bright so you can see exactly what you are doing. If you are hosting a dinner party, dim them to create an intimate ambiance.

So there you have it – a homely and practical kitchen that your whole family will love!

 

3 Things To Bear In Mind When Buying A Home

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It is one of those rites of passage which most people go through at some point: buying a home. Buying a house can be an exciting time in your life – particularly when it is your first home. However, first home or fiftieth, there are some key things that you should always bear in mind. As well as being exciting, it is also a process which can be long and drawn out. In some cases, it might feel that it has gone on forever. In these circumstances, it is important to keep focused on the end-goal. At the end of the day, you will end up with a beautiful new home. And there are few greater feelings in the world than that. If you are currently in the middle of this process, then this post may be of some help. Here are the top things to consider when you are buying a new home.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

It is a tough and sometimes tedious process buying a house, so it is understandable if you seek out help. This is exactly why estate agents and the likes of Redbrick Property Services exist. At the end of the day, you can do plenty of research and put many hours into the project, but you can’t do it all alone. Even if you feel that you can, there will probably come something which you need help with. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In fact, it is advisable to ask for help from the outset. There is no need to create more stress than necessary, after all. With a helping hand, you can then spend less time stressing and more time planning for your new property.

Remember Where The Value Is

When you are out and about looking at homes, one of the main things to think about its value. At the end of the day, value is subjective, so you might disagree with a valuation. It is a good idea to get as clued up as possible about what adds value to a house, and what removes it. That way, when you are looking at properties, you can make your own guesstimates. This takes some of the power away from the valuers and back to you. Remember that the kitchen is the one room that really matters when it comes to determining value, followed closely by the bathrooms. If there are any extensions, this is likely to add a significant amount to the property. Bear all these points in mind and you should feel more prepared.

Location Is Key

It is an old saying which has almost become cliche that location is the main ingredient in buying a house. However, like many cliches, it is actually true. When you are looking at properties, remember how important location is. There are a couple of sides to this. On the one hand, it is important on a personal level. Do you know the location well? If not, have you researched it? It is not very advisable to move into an area you know nothing about – regardless of the state of the property. The other side of it is that location has a huge effect on both likeability and value. Do yourself a favour and research the local area. Get to know it before you make any rash decisions one way or the other.

Easy Ways to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

Everyone wants their home to look beautiful, and perhaps like it’s worth more than it is. Most of us won’t be able to afford a manor house anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean we can’t care for the property we’ve got. Even if you love your home, and you’re proud that you own it, you still might want to make some upgrades. You can make your home look more expensive, even if it isn’t. There are changes you can make to the inside and outside of your property to give it more of an air of class and luxury. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money to make a difference. You could use your savings to make a change now and then, or take out a home improvement loan.

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New Fixtures

One of the quickest ways to improve the look of your home is to update outdated fixtures. Your lights are one of the things you can focus on. Old light fixtures can make a room look neglected, even if you have made an attempt to decorate everywhere else. If you have a lighting fixture that’s bringing everything down, it’s time to get rid of it. There are so many different lights you can have in your home. You can use anything from simple spotlight LEDs to extravagant chandelier-style lights. Change the fixtures in one room at a time if you want to spread the cost.

Make Use of Neutrals

If you look at expensive homes, you will see that many of them use lots of neutral colours. There are a few reasons for this, including that neutral shades aren’t going to fall out of fashion. If you go for some bolder colours, you could be bored with them, or they might look out of date in a couple of years. Neutral hues will stand the test of time and give you a good background for adding in accent colours. It’s a good idea to use them for walls and floors, at least, so that it’s easy to keep them in good condition.

Replace Your Doors

Is your front door a cheap-looking PVC monstrosity? What about your interior doors? You might not notice how much your home’s doors can make a difference to the property. They affect how it looks both inside and out. Getting new ones could give your home a complete overhaul. You can shop for new doors online, at places like George Hill timber merchants. Or if you want to see some doors in person, you could find a showroom where you can look at the up close. Think about the colour and the hardware on your new doors. Inside, you might want to use neutral colours. But perhaps you want something more colourful for your front door.

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Use Tile in Key Areas

Tiles can make any area of your home look more sophisticated, and they don’t have to cost that much. Before you buy any tiles, you have to be familiar with what you can use where. Some tiles are only suitable for using on walls and aren’t durable enough for floors. You need to consider how much foot traffic you have going over floors you want to tile. You could also use tile to put a backsplash in your kitchen, which you can do yourself if you’re feeling brave enough.

Match Your Hardware

If you have mismatched accessories in your bathroom or kitchen, consider replacing them. You can choose a style or theme you like and match them up instead. For example, replace the taps and towel rail in your bathroom, so they complement each other. Don’t just concentrate on the permanent fittings, either. You can also get other accessories that match your hardware, from soap dishes to toothbrush holders.

Grow Your Garden

If you want to improve the outside of your home too, there’s no better place to start than the front garden. If you don’t have a garden at the front of your home, you might have a small path or other space. You can immediately make your property look like it’s more expensive by upgrading this area. You can’t go wrong with adding some plants, either in pots or planted in a space you have available. Of course, make sure that you keep everything well-maintained. Your garden will say that you make the effort to keep it looking beautiful. If you’re not much of a gardener, you can buy plants that don’t need much care.

It doesn’t take much to make your home look more expensive. A few affordable touches could give it a sophisticated appearance.

Essential Advice for Home DIY Newbies

Doing it yourself is difficult, but you can also save a lot of money by doing DIY jobs at home without expert help. To make sure that you don’t make mistakes or hurt yourself, here is some essential advice you need to know about as a DIY newbie.

Know Your Limits

Everyone has certain things that they’re good at and other things that they’re not so good at. You need to know what your limits are when you are doing a DIY project. If there are things that you are really not very good at, then get some help. But that’s not to say that you can’t improve and advance your DIY skills. By taking on more projects and trying new things, you will discover new talents that you didn’t even know you had. But get help when you need it.

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Use Products That Are Meant to Last

When you build something or make an upgrade to your home, you want it to last for a long time to come. This will only happen if you use the right products though. First of all, make sure that you use materials that are strong and sturdy. And then you should make sure that you connect these components together in the right way. If you are using glue, use waterproof glue and adhesives for industrial use. This stuff if very strong and is great for attaching pieces of wood together.

Don’t Risk Your Health and Safety

Your own health and safety are always what should come first when you are taking on a DIY project. You should never risk your health, but this is something that many people do when they first try DIY. So, purchase the right safety equipment for the job that you are trying to undertake. The equipment that you should use will depend on what kind of task you want to complete.

Never Rush a Job

DIY is something that you should never rush. You have to take your time and make sure that you do the job properly rather than quickly. It’s important to allow yourself the time to get the job done the way it needs to be done. If you don’t do this, then you will cause yourself some big problems. This is especially important if you are new to DIY and don’t really have much experience yet. You should also start small to ensure that you grow slowly and build up your skills.

When You’re Done, Test It

If you have taken on a large DIY project, you will probably be very relieved when it’s over. But that doesn’t mean that you can simply start using the thing that you’ve created. Instead, you need to make sure that you test it. Testing the item is not just about making sure it’s safe, but this is the most important thing. If it doesn’t pass the testing process, then you will know that you made a mistake somewhere in the process. It’s better to find out that the item isn’t built properly before you start using it.

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How To Plan A Dinner Party To Celebrate Your Engagement

Once you’ve announced your engagement, it’s time to celebrate. And what better way to do that than with a vibrant dinner party for the two families to enjoy together. This may be one of the first times your parents have met your partner’s parents. Perhaps you can invite siblings and their partners over too. A dinner party gives you all a chance to get to know each other better.

As well as a chance to pick up some helpful tips for planning the wedding, you may be entertaining your future family for the first time. Preparing your home for such an important meal can take time, so it might be best to start a day early. The dining room may be seating more people than usual, so dust off the spare chairs. If your table extends, now is the time to open it up. If there still isn’t quite enough space, consider adding a small table on the end. You can usually find good tablecloths in larger sizes to help make the tables look like one.

Dressing the table is really important if you want your meal to look elegant. Consider a vibrant colour for your table runner to add interest to the surface. You might choose attractive table mats as place settings. Consider using some along the runner if you’re bringing hot dishes to the table. Each place setting should have the correct cutlery set up. This may include your dessert spoons and starter forks.

If you prefer to seat people in a particular way, why not create some place setting cards? This will help people find their seat more easily, and you can then manage the seating arrangements. A candelabra or vase of flowers can help bring a sense of formality and occasion to the table. Finally, fold your cloth and linen napkins to help dress the table in a stylish way.

Choosing your wine and other beverages doesn’t need to be too tricky. Once you’ve decided on the menu, you can pick reds and whites accordingly. Usually, the label on the bottle will help you find the right drop to accompany each dish. Generally speaking, Chardonnay goes beautifully with chicken breasts. A Burgundy will accompany a beef dish such as Bourguignon very well. There are many more options in both red and white wines to suit all tastes.

Desserts at a dinner party should be elegant and indulgent. Tiramisus and cheesecakes are often good choices. A cheeseboard with crackers is often very popular after a meal. It can be served just before the coffees if you prefer. With a larger party, it could be a good idea to serve two platters or boards so there is one at each end of the table. Side salads could also be served this way.

Dressing for such an important event is lots of fun. You can pick your favourite evening outfit. Be sure to wear shoes too! If you’re hoping to deliver an elegant event, why not spoil yourself with an appointment at the hairdresser? A big family dinner party can be one of the best ways to celebrate the coming together of two families. Bon Appetite.