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5 Ways To Brighten Up Your Home

15.2.19

A lot of people hate the winter for how dark it can make our homes feel. For some though, this problem extends all year around! Brightening up your home can not only help it to feel cleaner, but it can also add a warmer vibe to your surroundings. So here are 5 tips to help you brighten up your home, and make it somewhere you can enjoy all year round.


Paint the Walls White
White is the most reflective colour, so by painting your walls this colour it will immediately make your home feel brighter. Colours like yellows and creams can also help to reflect light, so they could be a good alternative choice if you find white too clinical. It’s also possible to use glossy paints similar to these available from Dulux, as they will further help to reflect light.

Choose Bright Furniture
When it comes to the light in your home, you should also consider your furniture choices. Black leather sofas and dark wood cabinets may add to a darker feel, as well as giving the impression of a smaller space. Instead, try shopping for brighter choices of furniture from companies like Vida furniture. Consider light woods or white painted furniture when it comes to shelves and cabinets, and opt for a cream or light grey sofa, instead of dark leathers.

Use Reflective Surfaces
Reflective surfaces such as mirrors can also help to brighten up your home. When it comes to small and poky rooms such as bathrooms, a large wall mirror can help to reflect light and make the room appear bigger. Smaller mirrors meanwhile can be placed opposite windows in order to create the illusion of more space. There are also other materials that can have similarly reflective properties too- stainless steel can produce a similar shine to a mirror, and laminated wood and polished stone also have strong reflective properties. 


Let in more Natural Light
Allowing more sunlight into your home will also help to make it brighter. Make sure that none of your windows are obstructed by large ornaments, plants, or furniture. And of course curtains can minimise the amount of natural light coming through your windows too.

If you like to close your curtains for privacy, you could always buy net curtains or blinds to still distort the view in whilst letting in light. On top of leaving windows unobstructed, you may wish to add in new windows or expand existing ones. For example Adding a skylight to a roof could help to let sunlight in from above.

Add extra Artificial Lighting
And if all else fails, you can always use artificial lighting to brighten your home. When it comes to overhead lighting, consider adding spotlights to corners of rooms or to recesses. Alternatively if you want to save money on electrical work, you could install track lighting instead. On top of overhead lighting, you can also use lamps to help brighten the room (lamps may use up less electricity, saving you money on your energy bills too).

This is a collaborative post.

Gousto Meal Box | Review + Discount Code! | AD

14.2.19

Paid Collaboration with Gousto

As soon as the littles are home from school, we're quickly thrown into the chaos of reading books, crafts and trying to get the baby to nap. So finding the time to make healthy and tasty meals for the family usually gets thrown to the bottom of the priority list. Therefore when Gousto got in touch and asked if I wanted to try out on of their food boxes, I of course said yes!


What is Gousto?
Gousto is a food box subscription service, that makes it easy (and hopefully enjoyable) for you to create healthy home-cooked meals from scratch. They have a large variety of over 20 meals to choose from - that you simply pick, order, and they then deliver to your door. Their menus changes weekly too, meaning that there's always something new to discover and enjoy!

There are lots of different types of recipes to pick from, making it easy to find meals that will suit a large range of households. The different collections include speedy meals (these take 10 minutes or less!), vegetarian or plant-based meals, gluten and dairy-free meals, world food, and of course family friendly meals (which contain less spice and chillis).

What comes in the box?
  • The ingredients for your chosen recipes. All the spices and condiments arrive in a brown paper bag, and chilled products come in a biodegradable Woolcool bag with ice packs.
  • Recipe cards with easy-to-follow instructions (and a full ingredients list).
  • Any extras that you purchased from the Gousto Market. And sometimes Gousto even add a little free treat - we received a wooden spoon with our order!
  • And if this your first box you will also get a Welcome Booklet. 


Ordering + Delivery
Ordering our box was really simple. I was asked a few questions to create our first box, to find out how many we wanted to order for (2 or 4 people), and where delivery was. I then picked the meals we wanted to receive, selected checkout and our box was ordered!

We went for the Peri Peri Chicken, Chips & Apple Slaw, Cottage Pie & Broccoli and the Joe Wicks Cheeky Chicken Tikka.

I was given a selection of dates to choose from for delivery (they deliver 7 days a week), and was told this was between 8am - 7pm. Thankfully on the day I was given a smaller time slot from my Yodel delivery driver, but as delivery is free I wasn't too annoyed about the long delivery slot. Some parts of the UK do offer morning or evening deliveries for an extra £2.99 too.

Our Review
Just having our Gousto box arrived created excitement in the house. The littles were SO excited to unpack everything and see all of the ingredients - they wanted to touch and smell everything, which I think just got them even more excited for the meals ahead. Unfortunately though for Parker (aged 3) that's where the excitement ended, as he didn't actually eat any of the meals... whoops!

Jack and I however, really enjoyed preparing and making the recipes we ordered. The recipe cards gave clear instructions, and I loved that each step included pictures as this really helps me with recipes. The fact that the Gousto box provides the exact quantity of ingredients needed (especially spices!), made cooking the meal soo much easier and quicker too. Which is especially important as a busy mum of three!



Taste-wise I was incredibly impressed with the recipes we received. As a family of 5 it is tricky to find meals that all of us will enjoy - especially as our little ones are aged 12 months, 3 and 5. But apart from Parker (who is fussy regardless), we all cleared our plates. I must also say that from each meal we managed to feed 2 adults, 3 children and have leftovers - so the portion sizes are great!

Gousto state that they are 'committed to creating meaningful long-term relationships with trusted farmers, producers and suppliers who care about quality and sustainability as much as we do, and who share our values'. I could really tell the ingredients we received were of high quality, especially in regards to the meat. And I was just so pleased that we were eating healthy, fresh and tasty meals; made possible by our Gousto box.


The down-side of Gousto though? The price. We budget roughly £60 a week for our food shop - and that includes everything; not just evening meals. A Gousto box for 4 people, with only 4 evening meals costs around £50 alone. As we know from trying the meals, they are healthy, tasty and do make meal planning a whole lot easier. But for us, we just couldn't justify spending that each week, as well as spending out on the rest of the food and household items we need.

However saying that, Gousto are cheaper than a well known competitor, and the boxes would be perfect to order on a particularly busy week, if you want to make meal planning easier. Gousto allow you to turn your subscription on and off whenever you wish, so with that knowledge we will definitely be coming back to Gousto when we need to!

Fancy trying out Gousto for yourself? Then I have a special code that you can use to give you 60% off of your 1st box, and then 30% off any other orders in the first month of signing up. Just enter EMILYP60M at the checkout - and make sure to share your recipes with me if you do sign up!

This is a sponsored collaboration with Gousto. However all opinions are honest and my own.