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.

My Life in Lomo #1

I am totally guilty of taking the same photo over and over again until it’s perfect. If a photo doesn’t look right, you can delete it and (in most cases) try again.That’s the luxury we have with modern digital cameras. Although it’s wonderful to be able to have this ability, I can’t help but feel like photography has lost its magic somewhat. So, last Christmas when Stephen bought me a La Sardina Lomogaphy camera, I was excited about using an ‘old school’ film camera again. Nothing beats the anticipation of going to pick up your prints from the lab, not quite knowing what to expect.  Flicking through photographs of moments that you had already forgotten had even happened.

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It wasn’t quite that straightforward, though. The first film I used in my lomo camera failed to process and my second came out streaky. My third? Not much better. I realised that I was  completely missing the point. These cameras do not produce ‘perfect’ photos. If that’s what I wanted, then I ought to just stick to using a digital camera. No, my La Sardina produces perfectly imperfect photos. It produces grainy and (in my case) streaky images that won’t win any awards or be featured in any photography magazines. BUT they do make me smile. They force me to forget about taking perfectly framed photos and concentrate on just capturing moments, people and places.

I thought I’d share some of my photos here on the blog – these have all been taken over the last couple of months, most of which are from our honeymoon down in Devon.

Little glimpses of my life in Lomo…

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LOMO 1

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I’d love to know which photo is your favourite? I think mine is the one of Jasmine smiling on the swing. :)

Do you ever use film cameras or do you prefer to stick to digital cameras?

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Friday Phone Dump #6

The weather has been on top form this week so we’ve been out making the most of it, before the rain arrives tomorrow – booo! This has meant lots of trips to the park and extra long dog walks. Yesterday Heidi got so hot on her walk that she refused to walk any further and Stephen had to carry her home – embarrassing. Here’s my sixth Friday Phone Dump…

Fancy following me on Instagram? You can find me @_tinyfootsteps

Have a fab weekend! 

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Going home

If you’ve read my previous posts then you will know that aside from my mum living all the way in New Zealand, the rest of my family and friends are based 195 miles away in Bristol which is where I was born and raised. When I moved away from the city it was always my intention to go back home as often as possible. In reality, it is a lot harder to get back there on a regular basis but now that Jasmine is here I am going to try even harder to get back to Bristol as much as I can. I want to share Jasmine with the people I love and likewise I want them to be part of her life.
This weekend, at almost 6 weeks old, Jasmine met my Dad, brother and friends for the first time. Better late than never.
Here’s some of my favourite photos from the weekend (I got a bit snap happy!):
DAY ONE 
Jasmine’s got her hat on, she’s coming out to play!
We tried to cram as much in as possible each day. On Saturday the weather was glorious so first on the agenda was a dog walk with some friends…
Cuddles with (Fake) Auntie Laura
Cuddles with (Fake) Auntie Sarah
That’s right, there was a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer on fake aunties (every kid has them!) as Laura and Sarah are identical twins! 
L & S with their pooches – Bella and Spencer
Laura is a neonatal nurse and Sarah works as a nanny so they’re great for little hints and tips when it comes to looking after tiny humans! 
I think this might be our first proper family photo!
Next up – Stephen, Jasmine and I met up with my best friends Jeni and Jodie for ice creams and sandwiches in the park…

I adored watching my bezzie mate Jeni hold Jasmine. It was the first time she’d held a newborn baby. I think she looks like a natural! :)
Jodie having cuddles with a rather windy Jasmine.
❤ Love these girls! ❤
Later that evening (after a little siesta back at the hotel and a shower to freshen up!) all 7 of us met up again to go for a meal at Frankie and Bennys. It was a brilliant end to fabulous summer day with some of my favourite people. 
A post-frankie and bennys girly snap sans Stephen and Jasmine.
DAY TWO
A visit to my Dad’s house to meet the famalam…
Jasmine and very proud Grandad!
Huggleberries with Uncle Matt.
Snoozing in the arms of Auntie Bethany ❤ 
After a long, hot and tiring car journey home, I let my Dad know that we’d arrived back safely and I got this reply from him: 
This in itself made every second we spent sweltering in our little car on the M25 worth it. Every second. 
I’m so happy that my friends and family have finally met my baby girl. It was an awesome weekend and now that I’m home I’m trying hard not to feel deflated and down. The sun is shining and I intend to enjoy every second of it while it lasts and contemplate my next trip home… 
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PS. Keep an eye out for my next post, I’ll be writing about my favourite Newborn Travel Essentials!