Signs your home needs some TLC

Signs your home needs some TLC

Does your home need a makeover? Do you feel bored and uninspired with your surroundings? Have you stopped enjoying living in your the property you were once so excited to purchase and call your home? If so, it is time to make some changes! With that being said, continue reading to discover some clear signs that your home is in desperate needs of a bit of TLC.

 

Your carpets are old and tatty – There is only one place to begin, and this is with old and dated carpets. If your carpets look dull and dirty, no matter how regularly you clean them, this is a clear sign that they are beyond saving and that you need to make some updates to your property. Why not look to a more modern style that is easy to maintain? You can find some good examples of this by looking at the solid wood flooring by Factory Direct Flooring. Such wood floors look incredibly stylish and they are very easy to maintain. Plus, you can always add a rug during the winter if you want to keep that little bit of softness and cosiness.

 

Dramatic window treatments – In recent times, we have moved to more transitional styles. This means that dramatic window treatments, for example, heavy drapery and sweeping valances, are a thing of the past. Instead, look for panel designs that have no pleating or at least only little amounts. Simple blinds are shades are also recommended.

 

Builder-grade lighting – If you do not know what this term means, think those big round, builder-grade glass fixtures that snuck their way into properties in alarming numbers! Are you guilty of having these lights dotted all around your home? If so, you need to make some changes. Luckily, there are so many affordable and amazing lighting options available today. This includes semi-flush mount and flush mount fixtures that will enhance your property rather than acting as a hindrance.

 

Outdated hardware – Aside from the two points that have already been mentioned, outdated hardware is another indicator that your home has been neglected for quite some time now. While there is no denying that brass is back in fashion, this does not excuse those high-shine, bright fixtures that are still found in properties today. If you want to go down the metallic route, make sure you look for brass fixtures that are antiqued or brushed for a more current look.

 

So there you have it: some of the clear indicators that your home is in desperate need of some TLC. If you have noticed any of the signs that have been mentioned above, it is definitely time to make some changes to your property. Use the suggestions that have been discussed above to give your home the makeover that it deserves. You will find that you fall in love with your home all over again.

This is a collaborative post.

How to get your home in shape for summer

How to get your home in shape for summer

Finally – we’ve hit some nice weather! After a start to the year that could be described as nothing less than ‘temperamental’, the ‘best from the east’ seems like a distant memory after the recent bout of lovely weather we’ve enjoyed. The most recent bank holiday weekend was the hottest on record; there’s no doubt we’re all well and truly in the mood for summer now! As we hope the good weather continues, attention quickly turns to our homes. The transition from the cold to hot weather means change is needed. Here’s how to get your home ready for the summer – both inside and out!  

Getting the outside in order 

During winter, our homes take a beating from the elements. When it’s cold and wet outside, the last thing on your mind will be to get some outside work done. Because of this, the outside of our homes can look a little neglected once the nice weather comes back around. Take some time to look around and which areas need some TLC and get to work.  

Windows 

As the sun shines through your windows, you soon realise the amount of dirt and dust that has collated on them. Whilst the insides might have been kept clean, the outsides can be covered from top to bottom in water spots and streaks. Warm water and soap will help to get rid of dirt, and for an extra gleam factor you could try using some specialty window polish.  

Patios and Walkways 

If you’ve got a path leading to your front door, this is often the first impression visitors to your home will have. Best to make sure it leaves a good one! Stray leaves and mud can make their way onto pathways, and flag stones become discoloured due to excess grime on top of them. The same goes for patios. Give the stones a thorough jet wash to return the stone to its former glory.  

Get Back into Gardening 

With the warmer weather comes more care for our gardens. It’s time to plant the flower beds and cut the grass. After all, the time for barbecues is only around the corner! Take some time to care for your neglected garden. Days out to the garden centre can also be a good family day out. If you’ve got little ones, let them pick their favourite flowers – and maybe enjoy a cake form the café, too!  

Moving indoors… 

Getting your home prepared for summer means adding a light and airy feel to your home’s décor. It’s time to move away from thick blankets and candles, and create a more seamless transition from the outside in. 

Get rid of excess clutter 

Creating a feeling of space is important when planning your home’s summer makeover. By removing unnecessary clutter from around your home, you lend it to a much more contemporary interior design. Move around your home and find a place for anything that doesn’t need to be there. You might have to be brutal at times and remove items you really love – but it’s for the greater good! These items can always be moved into other rooms, and of course brought back out when it gets cold again. 

Incorporate light colours 

Whether you’re making small changes or looking for a complete design overhaul, the colours you use are crucial to the overall feel of your home. You could re-paint your walls to represent a summer-themed haven in your home, or use small design aspects to add splashes of bright colour. Small throw pillows and thin blankets work well for this. After all, here in the UK we’re unlikely to have zero use for a blanket every now and again – even in summer! 

Use natural elements 

Blending elements form the outside into your interior design helps create a buzz and summery feel across your home. Small indoor water features and house plants are great for creating the seamless transition from the outside and, as previously mentioned, this is important for summer décor. House plants will also make the air feel cleaner, so it’s a win-win!  

Clean the floors 

In some rooms, your home may be one of the main features of your interior design. If this is the case, you definitely need to make sure they’re as clean as possible. Even if they take a back seat to the rest of your décor, you should do your best to maintain them. Carpets should be washed and cleaned as much as possible, and wood or laminate flooring should be swept and cleaned using a damp mop (although don’t get them too wet as this can cause more harm than good!) 

Have you got any more tips for getting your home in shape for summer? 

This is a collaborative post.

Our garden plans for Spring/Summer 2018

Our garden plans for Spring/Summer 2018

This time last year, almost to the day, we had just moved into our house. Spring and Summer 2017 was all about getting settled in our new home, doing the the essential decorating (there was some feature wallpaper that we could NOT live with) and we also had a new kitchen fitted. It was a busy and expensive time for us.

Fortunately, we now had a sizable back garden which the girls could enjoy when we had good weather. It’s a garden that’s mostly laid to lawn and relatively low maintenance (certainly compared to our previous back garden which required far more gardening skills than I possess). It was great to be able to fill up the paddling pool and watch the girls play happily. We are all so much happier when we’re outside.

The girls enjoying being out in our garden last year.

Whilst we’ve been able to enjoy our garden without having to really do much to it (except mow the lawn every other ruddy day – or so it seems), this year I want to focus on making it ours. There’s a few areas of the garden that definitely could do with a bit of TLC.

I thought I’d share some before photos and, hopefully, in a month or so from now I can share an update of what we’ve managed to do to get our garden looking it’s best.

Here’s the list of things we want to do:

Deck ‘The Ugly Corner’ – the previous owners of our house had a wooden playhouse in the back left-hand corner of the garden, they wanted to sell it to us but we didn’t think it was worth what they were asking for it so we declined. Unfortunately, the area where the playhouse stood is a bit of a mess and is by far my least favourite thing about our garden as it currently stands. We’re planning to have a small area of decking built there before the summer, so we can enjoy it as place to sit. I’m not very keen on the brick wall either and would like to paint it in order to brighten that corner of the garden up a little.

Buy a parasol – our garden is south facing which is LUSH! But there really is no escape from the sun which isn’t ideal when the littles are playing out in the paddling pool. We’d really like to invest in a large parasol in order to give the girls some shade when they’re playing outside.

Repaint the planter – we inherited this planter from the previous home owners (they didn’t try to make us buy it separately!) But it’s looking a little tired and the paint is flaking off. I’m not sure if it can be saved but I’ll give it a good go. I’m sure it’s nothing a lick of paint can’t fix!

Add some colour – we have a few hanging baskets which are all looking a little lacklustre and could do with some new flowers. I want to add lots of bright and pretty flowers around the rest of the garden too. Although, with two young children and a dog (who will eat anything) I need to be careful as to which plants I choose. If you have any child/pet safe plant suggestions, throw them my way!

Add garden lights – I am obsessed with fairy lights. My husband jokes that it takes him half an hour to go to bed at night because he has to turn off all of the fairy lights around the house. Obviously I’m gonna want to add some nice solar lights in the garden. At least hubby won’t have to turn these ones off! ;)

Grow our own strawberries – we planted some strawberry plants in our Vegtrug last year but as it was their first season, we didn’t get a lot of fruit from them. I tried to take care of them throughout the year and hopefully I’ll be rewarded with lots of yummy homegrown strawbs this summer.

I think that’ll be enough to keep us busy for now. I’ll be keeping a keen eye on Groupon’s deals as they regularly have some fab offers on garden items including; parasols, outdoor lights, plants and garden toys.

Do you have any garden plans for 2018?

Jenna xxx

This is a collaborative post.

My ‘No Spend Month’ Diary: Week two

My ‘No Spend Month’ Diary: Week two

If your interested in why I’m having a ‘no spend month’ then check out my original post here.

If you want to see how I did in Week One then click here.

I’m posting this weekly diary a bit later than planned but here’s how my second ‘no spend’ week went…

Day 8. 

I had a study day at home today so was mostly focused on doing my coursework. However, my sweet tooth got the better of me because when I picked J up from pre-school, I nipped into the corner shop to buy a packet of Cadbury Mini Eggs!

Total spent: £1.00

Day 9.

We had the craft box out today (J’s really into crafting at the moment) so I took the opportunity to make a Valentine’s card for my husband. I used a toilet roll tube to make a heart stamper and embellished the card with cut out letters from magazines. I’m quite pleased with it and I’m sure Stephen will appreciate the effort I went to. ;)

Total spent: £0.00

Day 10. 

I’ve been trying to hold off buying these, but I just couldn’t wait any longer… I needed to get replacement batteries for Ewan the Dream Sheep. We’re trying to get E into a better sleep routine and we always have a little more success when we use white noise. We tried using an app on our phone but it just wasn’t cutting it. Today, I bought the damn batteries and E went to bed much easier. No regrets.

Total spent: £4.20

Day 11.

Stephen and J wanted to go to the zoo today and I was almost tempted to go with it. Tickets would’ve cost us about £40 so I looked for an alternative day out. I suggested we go to Ashton Court – a large estate/grounds that is free to visit. We made a packed lunch and bundled the kids and dog into the car. It was SUCH a cold morning but it was nice to be out of the house. It wasn’t an entirely free day out as J asked for an ice cream(!) and we had to pay for parking. But still considerably cheaper than a day at the zoo. I’ve told J we can go to the zoo for her birthday in April.

Total spent: £2.70 (Parking and a Nobbly Bobbly Ice Cream)

Day 12.

It was a gorgeous, sunny day today which makes not spending money so much easier. I went out for a long walk with the girls, letting Jasmine decide where we went. We ended up saying ‘hi’ to some nearby horses and mooching through our local woods. Happy days. :)

Total spent: £0.00

Day 13.

Today was pancake day and we did pop out to Tesco to get some additional ingredients *cough* Nutella *cough*! I’m generally not counting groceries as money spent but in this case these were things we could’ve gone without but didn’t. I mean, you gotta have pancakes on pancake day, right?

Total spent: £3.70

Day 14.

It’s been a while since Stephen and I have been out on a date anywhere and this Valentine’s day was no different. Instead we made do with a (homemade) curry by candlelight and exchanged our (homemade) cards. It was a really lovely, romantic evening. :)

Total Spent: £0.00

Total spent this week: £11.60

 

Have you ever attempted a ‘no spend’ challenge?

Jenna xx

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My ‘No Spend Month’ Diary: Week one

My ‘No Spend Month’ Diary: Week one

If your interested in why I’m having a ‘no spend month’ then check out my original post here.

Here’s how the first 7 days went…

Day 1. 

Today I kicked off my no spend month by:

Taking the girls to the library. On the way we pretended to have magic wands (sticks) and were ‘turning each other into frogs’. Then we stopped off at the river to play pooh sticks. Plenty of free fun right there!

We spent an hour playing and reading books in the library and picked out 6 to bring home with us.

Bought E’s nappies with my Boots points.

Nappies are essentials so obviously I won’t be able to avoid buying them for the whole of February but I really wanted a great start to my ‘no spend month’. By using the points I had on my Boots Advantage Card I could avoid spending cash.

Signed up for Netflix free trial. 

I love watching a good box set or film in the evening but I can end up spending a fair bit of money downloading films from Google Play or Sky Store. Netflix offer a one month free trial to new subscribers and I’m excited to binge-watch some new shows for free! Any recommendations?

Total spent: £0.00

Day 2.

We didn’t do a lot today so not much opportunity to spend money. We had a chilled day at home and watched some shows on Netflix. (Jasmine is a big fan of the Beat Bugs episodes!) Then we tackled J’s messy bedroom as it looked like there had been an explosion in a toy factory in there.

In the evening I found out that a blogger friend has sadly suffered a bereavement so I contributed some cash, along with my other blogger mama pals, for a donation to her chosen charity.

Total spent: £3.00

Day 3. 

This morning we were all up and out of the house early as I had to go into Bristol city centre to do my driving theory test (which I booked and paid for a few weeks back). I passed – yay!

I’d looked for free things we could do afterwards so as to make the most of our trip and discovered that Windmill Hill City Farm was a short drive away from the test centre. Despite the weather being a bit crummy, we donned wellies and popped over for a visit. I’m so glad we did because the girls really enjoyed themselves.

Total spent: £0.00

Day 4.

Today I treated Jasmine to a trip to the cinema to see ‘Early Man’, the new Aardman film. Fortunately, I had a cinema gift voucher so the tickets (which would’ve cost over £20) didn’t cost me anything. I even remembered to buy treats from the supermarket rather than at the cinema, saving me a small fortune.

Total spent: £2.75 (on popcorn, drinks and sweeties)

Day 5.

A friend of mine brought over a child bike seat today which I agreed to buy from her before my NSM (no spend month) began but as I paid for it today, it counts! I want to be able to take E out on my bike when the weather gets better and was looking at buying a new child seat. My friend mentioned that she had one that had never been used and that I could buy it from her. So I’m still saving money, just in a different way! ;)

Total spent: £20.00

Day 6.

Today, instead of spending E’s nap time time wandering around the shops, I had a bit of clear out around the house. I managed to fill a big bag with stuff to donate to charity. A bit of de-cluttering and a spend-free day: woohoo!

Total spent: £0.00

Day 7.

Today, when J got home from pre-school, we decided to do some Valentine’s crafts. Normally I’d go out and buy new bits for specific craft activities but this time opted to use whatever we could find in our already-full craft box. I was quite pleased with the results!

Total Spent: 0.00

Total spent this week: £25.75

Overall, not a bad start to my challenge – obviously I spent more than I was hoping to but I think I can do even better next week. I haven’t really been tempted to buy much due to not going in ANY shops all week. (I had my groceries delivered and I’m not counting money spent on essentials such as food).

Onwards and upwards…

Have you ever attempted a ‘no spend’ challenge?

Jenna xx

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