Can we talk about unicorns?
+ a giveaway

Can we talk about unicorns for a moment? And just how spectacularly popular they are right now (with kids and grown-ups alike).

When I asked my daughter what she wanted for her 5th Birthday she simply replied ‘unicorn stuff’. (Not complaining, that made birthday present shopping pretty darn easy!)

I don’t remember unicorns being much of a thing when I was a child. Although, when I was around the age my daughter is now, I was all about Care Bears and Troll figures! It’s funny what becomes popular, isn’t it?

But my kiddo has really fallen in love with these magical, mythical creatures and can’t quite get enough of them! She trots into school each morning wearing her brightly coloured unicorn raincoat and unicorn backpack (she doesn’t need a backpack for school, she’s in reception, but begs to wear it to school anyway). And I can’t help but smile.

In a blink of an eye, it’ll no doubt be boyband merch and whatever coat she’s seen her fave female celeb wearing on Instagram (or whatever it is that comes after Instagram). So I’m quite happy to enjoy this craze for as long as it continues!


If you fancy winning yourself a pack of Unicorn Poo bath bombs (and why wouldn’t ya?) then you are in luck because the folks at WOW Freestuff are giving 50 of them away! Click here to enter the competition.

Terms & conditions:

By entering the competition you must agree to sign up to the WOW Freestuff Newsletter.

Entrants must be 18 or over and reside in the UK.

Competition closes on the 31st May 2019.

Are your children unicorn obsessed?
What childhood crazes were you into as kid?

Jenna xx

*I was gifted a pack of Unicorn Poo Bath Bombs for the purpose of this post.

Easter Holiday plans
+ Cadbury Chocolate Giveaway!

I love Spring – daffodils, cute fluffy lambs, blossom on the trees and if we’re really lucky, a bit of sunshine! With less than a week to go before J breaks up from school for the Easter holidays, I’ve been thinking about our plans for the two-week break and decided I’d share them here on my blog (in bucket list-style fashion of course)!

Celebrate Jasmine’s birthday

Insert cliched mum talk such as “how is my baby so grown up?” here.

But seriously, how do I have an almost-five-year-old?! Blows my mind, it really does. We’ll be kicking off the Easter break with J’s 5th birthday celebrations. She’ll be having her first proper birthday party (at a local soft play centre) and is excited to celebrate the occasion with her school friends.

Visit Whitehall Garden Centre

I LOVE me a garden centre and it’s about this time of year that I realise our back garden could do with some TLC, which is all hthe excuse I need to visit our local garden centres! The kids, though? They don’t share my love and get bored after about 2 minutes of wandering aimlessly among the shrubs. BUT I have a plan – throughout the holidays, Whitehall Garden Centre are hosting a free ‘meet the Easter Animals’ session most days. Baby chicks and bunnies – oh my – the girls will love it!

Visit Berkeley Castle

J has been learning about castles as part of a school project and subsequently talks about castles, knights, dragons, princes and princesses a lot at the moment! Berkeley Castle is a short drive away from us and yet we’ve never been to visit there as a family. We’re hoping to visit over Easter weekend and catch their ‘Dragon Extravaganza’.

Ashton Court Easter Wildlife Trail

We haven’t been to Ashton Court for ages but this Easter they are running a free Wildlife Trial down in the Rose Garden. By finding pictures of animals and insects and writing down their names, you can reveal the winning words and collect a small prize at the end! The Trail runs from 6th-22nd April and you can collect your trail sheets from the Courtyard Cafe.

Have an Easter Egg hunt in the garden!

Our Garden Easter Egg Hunt has become somewhat of an spring tradition. The girls absolutely love it and I always enjoy watching them squeal with delight when they find chocolate eggs hidden behind pot plants and garden ornaments. I’ve got my Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt Pack* at the ready (it contains 14 eggs, 3 bunnies and 3 bags of mini eggs) and I think I may even write some clues from the ‘Easter Bunny’ this year, too! ;)

If you fancy winning yourself a Cadbury Easter Egg hunt pack then you are in luck because the folks at WOW Freestuff are giving 50 of them away! Click here to enter the competition.

Terms & conditions:

By entering the competition you must agree to sign up to the WOW Freestuff Newsletter.

Entrants must be 18 or over and reside in the UK.

Competition closes on the 15th April 2019. (So be quick!)

Ant there we have it, that’s our rough plans for the Easter holidays – I’d love to hear yours?

Jenna xx

*I was gifted a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt Pack for the purpose of this post.

5 reasons to try artificial lawn

Artificial grass is fast growing in popularity. More people than ever are are choosing to replace their turf with artificial lawn. If you haven’t seen artificial lawn in the last few years, you might not understand why. We’ve all heard stories about how fake grass has left people with burns or grazes. You might have even tried it years ago, when it felt hard, rough and, well, fake. A lot has changed since then, and you might be surprised by some of the reasons you should try artificial grass in your garden.

 

If you do want to try grass from LazyLawn Liverpool, this is the perfect time to do it. Your lawn has just faced a long, dry summer and your grass might be showing the effects. It might be dry, brown and rough. If you want it to be luscious by next spring or summer, it’ll need feedings, watering and plenty of TLC over the coming months. It might even be too late. If you’ve left your lawn untended over the summer, it might be past repair. You might be looking at replacing it in the coming months, so why not try some artificial lawn? Here’s a look at some of those reasons if you need more convincing.

 

It’s Cost Effective

 

An artificial lawn can be more expensive to buy than real grass. But, long term it can be much cheaper. It won’t need cutting, feeding or looking after. You won’t ever need to spend money replacing it, nor will you need to treat it with a feed or moss killer every year.

 

It’s Easy

 

If you want real grass to look good, it takes a lot of work. You can’t just leave it and expect it to look it’s best. You need to mow it every few weeks in the summer months. You need to water it, dig out weeds and feed it over the winter. Artificial lawn, you just lay and leave. It always looks amazing.

 

You Don’t Have to Worry About the Weather

 

When you’ve got real grass, the weather plays a big part in how good it looks. No matter how much time you spend looking after it, too much rain, too much wind or too much sun can damage it and undo all of your hard work. Artificial grass isn’t affected by weather.

 

You’ll Get More Out of It

 

When you’ve got real grass, there are periods when you can’t enjoy it. If it’s rained, you’ll walk mud into your house. If it’s filled with weeds and moss, you’ll want to avoid it in case or irritation. When you’ve spread weed killer, you can’t walk on it because it could be harmful. You can’t even hang washing out in case the chemicals get blown around by the wind.

When you’ve got artificial grass, you don’t need to worry about these factors. You and your family can enjoy your lawn every day of the year.

 

It Looks and Feels Real

You may doubt the quality of fake grass. But, there’s no need. It’s improved so much in the last few years that it looks and feels just like a real lawn. No one will know the difference until you start bragging about it.

 

This is a collaborative post.

Softening Up The Hard Stuff In The Home

Using materials in smart ways has long been a big part of interior design. There are loads of options on the market which can be used to make a space feel unique, ranging from the soft to the solid, with loads of different options in between. Around the home, the choices you make in this area can have a massive impact. So, to help you out, this post will be exploring some of the uses for hard materials in your home, giving you an idea of how you can apply them to your own space without taking away the warm and welcoming feel you’ve worked hard to achieve.

 

Floors: Starting with something fairly obvious, most homes will have at least one room which as hard flooring. Tiles, wood, and even plastics can all be used in this sort of area, giving you the chance to change the way a room looks and feels without having to invest a fortune into it. Of course, though, these types of floor can often leave the place feeling cold. To avoid this, you have a couple of options, with rugs and other fabrics being the route which most people will take. Some people will want to go for heating flooring, though, as this also adds some warmth to your room.

 

Furniture: Along with the floors in your space, it’s likely that you also have some hard furniture knocking around which will be impacting your space. In reality, most furniture is hard, being made from metals, wood, and plastics, and this can make it very hard to get truly comfortable when you’re spending time there. Like your floors, fabrics can be a great way to soften your furniture, and you can choose between proper upholstery or simple throws to make this happen. Of course, you can choose pieces which already have this sort of feature, but this won’t be as nice and finding options which you love and adding them yourself.

 

Sinks, Toilets, & Baths: There are some parts of your home which won’t be able to be made from anything other than something hard. With the way that water likes to soak into fabrics and other soft materials, anything which deals with it has to be solid. This means that sinks, toilets, and baths all need a different approach when you’re softening them up. By looking here and there around the web, you’ll quickly find loads of companies offering options which are less hard-looking by nature. A belfast sink, for example, has very smooth edges, making them look like they’re made from something completely different.

 

Electronics: TVs, stereos, and large appliances have always been made from things like metal and plastic. Their outer shells need to be hard to protect the sensitive circuit boards and wiring within them, and this can make it impossible to see their softer side. If you want to hide them with something soft, you’ll have to be creative, though this doesn’t mean that you’re out of options. Your television, for example, can be hidden behind curtains or paintings, only being revealed during use. Taking an approach like this will quickly make your whole place feel much softer, and you won’t have to get rid of the things you use in the process.

 

Doors & Windows: Some parts of the home, like windows and doors, have to be hard for a number of different reasons. These areas are designed to keep your home secure, and wouldn’t be very good at their jobs if people were able to get through them with a knife. Along with this, they also protect your space from the elements, keeping out wind and rain, while also ensuring that it stays nice and warm. From the inside, though, this can make the whole place feel very unnatural. Curtains are one of the best solutions for this. They can work with both windows and doors, and will enhance the insulative properties of these areas, providing more than one benefit when you decide to install them.

 

Fireplaces: When looking for a home, fireplaces are one of the key elements which can easily sway a purchase. These features can be stunning, throwing a room into the past, or giving it a modern twist which isn’t found anywhere else. Of course, though, often being made from stone or wood, they will always make the place feel colder when they aren’t lit or operational. Nowadays, there are loads of ways to make your fireplace feel softer, with upholstery being one of the best. You can find examples of fireplaces like this around the web to give yourself some inspiration.

 

Lighting: Not a lot of people will consider light when they are trying to make their space feel softer. You need this crucial element in your home, as it gives you the ability to see in the dark, while also letting potential criminals know that you’re at home. Light is hard in a different way to the other options on this list, though. When you’re using older light bulbs, the illumination which is produced will often be very harsh and stark, making the place feel very clinical. To avoid this sort of issue, using diffused lights will always be a great help. Modern LED bulbs often have this built in, and will work well with dimmers to give you full control.

 

There are loads of hard objects in your home. While you need some of these things to retain their solid nature, there are always ways to soften up areas which most people will ignore. This will make the place feel warmer, more welcoming, and will give it a unique twist which most places simply don’t have. Of course, though, you’ll have to work to achieve it, using websites like Instagram and Pinterest to give yourself ideas in the process. Hopefully, this post will inspire you to do just that. If it doesn’t, it could be worth going to some open houses and trade shows to see what other people are doing when it comes to making their space feel softer.

 

This is a collaborative post.

7 Clever Ways To Create Space In Your Home

In an ideal world, you’d live in a massive house with more space than you know what to do with. But for most people, that’s not a reality. House prices are on the rise and most people can’t afford the space that they’d like. It’s a real struggle when you’re in a house that’s too small but usually, there is a solution. Often, it’s not that the floor space in the house itself is too small, the problem is with the way that you’re using that space. That means there are certain things you can do to increase the floor space and make the house feel larger without having to move into a bigger, more expensive place. If your home is starting to feel cramped and you want to open it up a bit more, here are some simple ways you can do it.

 

Clear Out Some Stuff

 

Before you start making any other changes around the house, you should have a look at the stuff you’ve got in there and consider clearing some of it out. Kids have an amazing ability to generate mess and when you’ve got a big family, the house will soon fill up with old toys and games and other things that you don’t really need anymore. It’ll slowly creep up on you until one day, you look around and it feels like there isn’t a single bit of space left in the house anywhere. The natural reaction is to think that your house isn’t big enough but, more often than not, you’ve just got too much junk in there. Even if it isn’t taking up floor space, having clutter everywhere makes the house feel a lot smaller than it is.

 

If you can start to declutter areas of the house, you’ll have a lot more free storage for the things that you do need. That gives you a good opportunity to have a reorganise and free up some space around the house. You’d be surprised just how much difference it can make. If you’ve let things get on top of you, decluttering might be a bit of a daunting task. The best way to do it is take it one room at a time. Look at every item in turn and ask yourself when the last time you used it was. If it’s been a while, you probably don’t need it anymore. You’ve got to be ruthless when you’re having a clearout, otherwise, you’re never going to get anywhere.

 

Take Out The Furniture

Obviously, the furniture is the thing that takes up most of the room in your house. I’m not suggesting you just live in a house without any furniture, but removing it from a room can give you a better idea of how you’re using the space. When you remove all of the furniture from the room and look at it while it’s empty, you get a better idea of what you could be doing with it. Then you can start putting things back in and try organising it in different ways. If you’ve built up the furniture and swapped things out over the years, you’re probably not using the space in the most efficient way possible. Emptying the room will also help you to identify any fixtures that are taking up too much space. Radiators are a common one; if you swap out your normal radiators with column ones like these ones on https://www.onlyradiators.co.uk, you’ll give yourself a lot more space. When you start putting the furniture back in, you might also identify certain pieces that take up way too much room. If you replace these with something a bit smaller, you can give yourself a lot more floor space.

 

Hidden Storage

 

As well as thinking about how you organise your furniture, you should think about how efficient the furniture itself is. There are so many great pieces of furniture that double up as storage units and it can save you a whole lot of space. For example, swap out your normal coffee table for an ottoman that has storage inside, or switch dining room chairs for a bench with storage inside. That way, you can get rid of some of the other storage that you had in the room before, essentially swapping 2 pieces of furniture for 1 and doubling the amount of free space you’ve got in the room.

 

Foldaway Furniture

 

If you’ve got pieces of furniture that you only use occasionally, you’re wasting a lot of space with them. For example, if you’ve got a dining table with 6 chairs but there are only 4 of you in the family, those 2 extra chairs are a waste of space. But you still want to have them there so you’ve got enough seats when guests come over. Foldaway furniture is a great solution here. You can put those 2 chairs away somewhere when you’re not using them and open up a lot more space. Fold down dining tables are great too; when you’re not eating you can half the size of the table and give yourself more room, then open it up when it comes to mealtimes.

 

Room Conversions

 

If those simple changes don’t open up enough space you might have to do something a bit more drastic. Building a whole new extension is an option but that’s going to be incredibly expensive and you’ll have to deal with planning permission and all of the upheaval of building. You’re much better off looking at room conversions first. Most people use the loft in their house to store the Christmas decorations and a load of other junk that they don’t really need. That’s a real waste of space because it can be a whole new room. Loft conversions don’t come cheap but they’re nowhere near as expensive as a new extension. Visit https://www.homebuilding.co.uk for a handy beginners guide to loft conversions. They add a lot of value to the house so it’s worth doing. You can borrow money against the house to pay for it and you’ll get the money back when the value of the house increases.

 

As well as the loft, you should also consider converting the garage. If you use it for parking then you might not want to but so many people just use it as storage for junk and park in the driveway. If you’re the same, you’re much better off making it into another room in the house.

 

Move Walls

 

The layout of the furniture in individual rooms is important, but what about the layout of the rooms themselves? This is a big problem in older houses that were set up for a different way of living. If the rooms in your house aren’t sized according to their use, you’re probably wasting space. For example, you might have a huge bathroom next door to a smaller living area. If you can move the walls and take a bit of the excess space from the bathroom and add it to the living area instead, you’ll have a lot more room. Taking out walls and making 2 smaller rooms into one larger one is another great way of adding space. People often like to do this with their kitchen and dining room because you can turn 2 fairly cramped rooms into one open plan living space.

 

You can also do it the other way and add walls in. If a space is a lot larger than it needs to be, adding a wall and breaking it up so you can use it as 2 different rooms is a more efficient use of that space. Putting up and taking down walls is a pretty disruptive job and it can be quite expensive but you can completely transform your house by doing it. If you want a cheaper option, use screens to break up a larger room and get more use out of it.

 

Add A Basement

 

Building an extension on the side of the house that adds to its footprint requires planning permission which you might not be able to get. But you shouldn’t need to get permission if you just want to add a basement to the house. It’s a great way of adding a whole load of new space to the house without having to eat into your garden. Check out https://www.idealhome.co.uk for some great examples of what you can do. Only some houses are suitable for a basement so you’ll have to check whether the earth underneath the house is right and make sure that the water table isn’t too high. Digging out a basement is obviously going to disrupt your home life and you’ll have to move out for a while so, before you make any decisions, think about whether you’re prepared to do that or not. Remember, adding a basement will add value to the house as well so think of the cost as an investment that you’ll get back when you eventually come to sell the house.

 

Living in a house that’s too small for your family is tough. But the good news is, you can make these changes around the house to open up more space and make the place a lot more comfortable for you and your family.

This is a collaborative post.