Recent Posts

5 Household Chores Best Left to the Professionals

16.9.19

Most of us have some sort of cleaning schedule, and those of us with children / and or jobs will find that your home can quickly get out of control if we don’t keep on top of things. You might clean your bathroom every Friday or mop the floors on a Saturday morning, whilst constantly trying to find the bottom of the laundry basket too.

But whether you’ve got your cleaning plan written down and even divided up between family members, or it’s all in your head, there are still some jobs that need that little bit more attention. The ones that are a little more complex, and you find yourself thinking “I wouldn’t know where to start” with. Honestly though, some of these jobs are best left to professionals! So in this post I'm going to be sharing 5 of these household chores, in the hope that it will help you realise you simply cannot do it all.


Rug Cleaning
A small cheap rug could probably be popped in the washing machine. But anything wool might shrink, and an large area rug almost certainly won’t fit. The best thing to do for these is to use a professional rug cleaning service. They may even come and collect your rug and return it clean, meaning one less thing to worry about! They’ll use appropriate detergents, remove stains and bacteria and dry your rug carefully. If you spent a lot of money on your rug, it’s undoubtedly worth cleaning it right - especially if you have children who sit on it often.

Cleaning Your Gutters
Most of us don’t think about our gutters at all, especially if they've never given you problems in the past. But over time they can become filled with leaves and other debris, causing them to become blocked. If this happens and then it rains, the water can start to run down the side of your house, leading to damaged brickwork and more serious problems. Getting someone out to clean your gutters every few months will help keep on top of them. 

Window Cleaning
You might be able to clean the inside of your windows yourself, but who realistically has the time (or the effort) to give the outside a good clean? Not me that's for sure! You can usually hire a window cleaner to come one a month / few months to keep on top of them. Just make sure you remember what day they are coming, so you don't get a big surprise outside your window!

Chimney Cleaning
Not all homes today have chimneys, which means that fewer of us know how to clean them. We actually have 4 working fireplaces in our small house, so it's something we have to think about often (although we've never actually lit any of them). It's best to hire help to keep you safe and your home soot free - especially as they will have the proper tools for a good clean too.

Mould Removal
Mould grows in warm damp areas, and can be made a lot worse in the winter when we dry washing inside. It’s perfectly normal to find some growing in your bathroom, or around windows, but that doesn't mean you should leave it. You can buy detergent to get rid of it, but you’ll probably find that it keeps coming back. So it might be best to a professional to treat it, to make sure it's gone for good!

Are there anymore you would add?

This is a collaborative post.

5 Reasons to Install Solar Panels to our Home

Solar panels are a form of renewable energy that have been used for decades now, to power our homes and small lights in our gardens. And solar energy is one of the most useful natural resources that we have! In this post I'm going to look deeper into the world of Solar Panels, and outline the perks and the reasons why you should consider getting some for your home today. 


Reduces Electricity Bills
If you are sick of paying through the nose for your electricity bills every year, and your premiums have just risen again; maybe it is time to consider getting some solar panels fitted to your house instead. Although most of the time solar panels won’t be able to power everything in the home, they can do a lot of supplement your electricity, in turn helping to lower your bills.

Diverse
Solar panels can be used for a number of things, so you can actually utilise them in many parts of the home. They can be used to power a house, to power things such as payphones and bus stops, and even for security cameras and lights outside your home or in the office.

Low Maintenance Costs
There is nothing worse than a faulty fuse or a boiler on the brink. These things can both cost a lot to repair, and the strain we put on them in the home can mean they only have a short life. However solar panels can be used for a number of things and they don’t need to be maintained much at all. Apart from cleaning the sensors now and again it should be easy going and this will allow you to focus your efforts on other things.


Cost
Did you know that you could be paid to have solar panels on your house? Because you are producing energy, the government will often pay you a small fee to help you maintain the solar panels so that the energy can be used elsewhere too. It is a mutual agreement and the more people who have solar panels, the more things will be powered.

Be Green
The most obvious reason for us to make a change from regular energy to solar, is the impact it will have on the environment. It is always important for us to consider our environment and we should take the chance to be green and save energy wherever we can. If we all do our own little bit, it can really make a big difference!

This is a collaborative post.

Me and Mine Project | August 2019

10.9.19

I am incredibly late with this post, but with Indiana back at school and Parker starting this week, I feel like normality has resumed a little bit. Although with that in mind, I feel as if the madness of the Summer Holidays were a lifetime ago already, even though it was only last week!

August was a month of absolute highs and incredible lows for us as a family. We celebrated Parker turning 4 with his first birthday party with friends, plus an amazing day out at Chessington World of Adventures. We also spent my birthday as a family at Colchester Zoo, which I hope to write about soon as it amazing, one of the best zoos we've ever been too! We ticked off everything on our Summer Bucket List apart from visiting the lavender fields (we ran out of time!) too, which made for lots of super fun summer memories.



August was also filled with incredible sadness for us as a family though, as on the 19th we lost my amazing nan. She was such an incredible woman, and the littles absolutely loved their great nanny, so it has been (and still is) a very difficult time. The littles have taken the news really well though, and know that nanny is watching them in the stars now.

The summer holidays meant we actually got plenty of family photos this month - although most are grainy selfies! All of them bring back fun memories though, from watching a film at the outdoor cinema, exploring a local NT property and getting lost in the maize maze. It was chaotic, crazy and stressful at times, but I do already kind of miss them all being at home. So here's to the next half term holidays!


4 Fun Holiday Ideas for the Whole Family!

9.9.19

Family holidays are a fantastic way to take a break, refresh, and spend some quality time with your children - especially when they're at school age. But finding a holiday that everyone will enjoy can be a complicated job. Whilst your perfect break might be a leisurely wine tour somewhere in the South of France, it’s probably not going to keep an eight-year-old entertained for a whole week. Plus, if you’re going to be spending a fair bit of money, filling suitcases with holiday gear, and getting everyone onto an airplane, you want the destination to be well-and-truly worth the effort!

So if you need a few ideas to get the ball rolling hopefully this blog post will help. I'm going to be sharing 4 fun family holiday ideas that everyone will love and remember forever.

Activities and Adventures
When we think ‘holiday’, we imagine a week away from work and chores, probably not doing very much at all! But we all know that children love an activity they can get stuck into and keep them busy. Luckily, there are plenty of holiday options which combine R&R with a healthy portion of action and adventure on the side.

Water sports can include anything from surfing, body-boarding, water-skiing, white-water rafting, scuba diving or canoeing. Basically, if there’s a body of water involved, you’re good to go! And when the children (hopefully) get tired, that’s when you can get some sunbathing in too.


Mark Warner provide some brilliant water-sports family holiday packages in several beautiful locations including Turkey, Greece and Corsica. They also have a special childcare option built in to help children learn, have fun and most importantly stay safe, whilst enjoying an action-packed break. They allow you to enjoy activities you want to do, while not having to worry about your children being bored or left in a regular kid's club.

If rock-climbing, cycling or hiking is more your thing, check out Activities Abroad for some land-based packages with a similar focus on family fun and safety. They also offer a number of cheaper options in the UK too, so you could forget the airport hassle altogether, and have a UK staycation instead.

And if you like the idea of snow-capped mountain peaks and hot chocolates by the fire, then why not consider a winter skiing holiday? Neilson ski holidays are all about making the most of the snow, with ski and snowboard lessons, a kids club for under-12s, Snowman Club for toddlers, and a range of hotels and chalets for accommodation options. Perfect!

Great British Camping 
There’s nothing like sleeping out under the stars, getting some fresh air and recreating your own childhood camping experiences. So if you’re planning on a budget or aren’t keen on air travel, camping can be a brilliant option for summer holidays in the UK.

Alton, The Star is a highly rated, family-friendly campsite right on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park (and Alton Towers)! It also boasts Carsington Water and Visitor Centre, which offers a wide range of activities for all the family on and off the water, including miles of footpaths and bridleways to explore, a children’s play area and fishing.


If you fancy taking things to the next level and giving glamping a go, Drayton Manor Park should be top of your list. There’s not a soggy ground mat in sight at Drayton’s pre-pitched tents, as these luxury canvases are fully kitted out with everything you could want. And nearby, you’ve got the Snow Dome, the National Forest, and Drayton Manor Theme Park.

If your children are mad about animals, you could even look into a Farm Stay camping holiday. With loads of locations to choose from, farm stay holidays offer a range of activities and accommodation options, including petting and feeding animals, swimming pools, cycling, walking and indoor games, all within the UK.

And if you’d like the luxury of taking the family on holiday whenever you like, it could be worth investing in a caravan of your own, from somewhere like Lyons Holiday Parks Caravans For Sale. That way, whenever and wherever you want to go, you’re fully equipped and prepared!

City Breaks
When you think family holiday, taking a city break may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But some cities in Europe are a lot more child-friendly than others, and can be a great way to absorb another culture and have fun.

Rome has plenty to offer for curious little ones, including the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, with it's hundreds of machines and models designed by the Renaissance genius. You can also climb the cupola of St Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican, and at just over 136 metres, the 551 steps become increasingly adventurous as you near the top. In terms of tasty treats there's plenty of options that are child friendly, with pizza and ice cream a plenty!


Paris is similarly full of things for children to do, from exploring the Magic Museum and it’s 100 bizarre mechanical figurines, to enjoying the giant whale skeletons at the Museum of Natural History’s Gallery. If that’s not enough, you could always take a couple of days to visit the nearby Disneyland Paris too!

Cruises
Not every cruise holiday is going to suit children, but some packages really have it covered with water parks, swimming pools, cinemas, kids clubs, games rooms and everything else a little one could ever want.

Norwegian Getaway packages have something to offer literally everyone, from musicals to waterslides, cruising between a series of glamourous locations including Miami, Mexico and the Caribbean. With 14 decks and 26 different dining options, as well as kids clubs, bowling, rock-climbing mini-golf and more, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to get bored!

For a trip a little closer to home, check out the Regal Princess, which boasts an eleven night round trip from Copenhagen to Scandinavia or Russia, visiting cities in six additional countries: Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Oslo, Helsinki, Berlin, and Tallinn. The whole family can enjoy movies under the stars on the giant poolside screen, and The Voice of the Ocean singing competition and Discovery at Sea activities. The perfect mix of culture, fun and relaxation!

This is a collaborative post.

6 Details to NOT Forget when Planning your Wedding

6.9.19

Planning your big day is fun and exciting, but there is an awful lot to remember! With so much to consider, it’s not surprising many couples forget things when they’re organising their wedding. If you’re worried you’ve forgotten something or you want to make sure you’ve got everything covered, then hopefully this post will help, as I'm going to share 6 things that you simply cannot forget when planning your wedding.


Provide extra seating
People don’t like to be crammed into a small space, so provide extra seating when you can. This is particularly important at the ceremony, when people may want to sit next to other guests they know. Wedding professionals often recommend having around 20 extra seats to ensure your guests are comfortable. 

Assign someone to manage the day
Suppliers won’t naturally know where to go or when to act, so you’ll need someone to be in charge on the day. As the Bride and Groom the day should be about relaxing and enjoying the wedding, so make sure you appoint someone else to do this for you. If you don’t have a designated wedding planner or master of service, make sure to ask a family member or friend to step in. This will help with sitting guests at the ceremony, or announcing timings for things such as photographs or food.

Set up a wedding website
A wedding-specific email address and wedding website can make the organisation of your big day straightforward and efficient. When you’re contacting suppliers, you can ensure all replies are collated into one inbox, rather than mixing it with your personal or work mail. Similarly, a wedding website makes it easy for people to RSVP and check venue details before the big day. This saves you answering endless queries from your guests and ensures you receive your RSVPs as quickly as possible!

Plan the honeymoon
When you’re caught up planning the wedding day itself, it can be easier to forget about the honeymoon! However, you’re going to need a holiday to relax after all your planning and prep so take advantage of honeymoon packages before it’s too late. With the best locations and resorts already in high demand, planning in advance will ensure you get your pick of hotels and benefit from the best prices.


Arrange transportation
If you’re holding your ceremony in one location and your reception in another, you’ll need to factor in transportation. While guests may have vehicles with them, the wedding party won’t so make sure you have cars arranged in advance.  Even if your ceremony and reception are being held in the same location, you may require transport from your hotel to the venue. Groomsmen and bridesmaid might arrive after the other guests but before the Bride and Groom, so make sure everyone can get to where they need to be on time. Just make sure the transport you have arranged can fit everyone in!

Plan for bad weather
You can never guarantee sunshine, so it is always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place for bad weather. If you’re getting married outdoors for example, check the venue has a suitable room available in case it rains. Similarly, scope out some suitable indoor locations for photographs so you’ll have alternative options if the weather lets you down.

When is your big day planned for? Good luck!
This is a collaborative post.

4 Ways to Simplify your Home

The world can be a pretty complicated place. Or at least that’s what it feels like sometimes! Therefore it’s important that we find ways to gain some control from time to time. We can only do that, however, in the places that are ours - those spaces where we have full say over what happens, such as our homes. If we can find ways to simplify our homes, then we’ll have a buffer against the madness that the outside world can throw our way. But of course, wanting a relaxing, stress-free place and having one are two different things. So in this post I'm going to share some tried and tested tips that will hopefully help push you in the right direction.


Themed Rooms
The first way to simplify your home is to think compartmentally (which is to say that you should divide the house into sections). While it would be nice to have a property where everything flows nicely into one another, this generally isn’t possible; there are too many variables in the mix. Things become much simpler if one reason is for relaxing, one is for hanging coats, others are for bedrooms, eating, and so on. It’ll allow you to be just fine with a little mess in those rooms where it’s normal.

Decluttered Spaces
You can’t have a clear mind if your brain is cluttered, and the same goes for your property. If you have too many material goods taking up space, then it’s not going to be a very simple or straightforward home. If it feels like things are too crowded, then why not look at decluttering your home first. Look into skip hire, then go through your home and collect anything that hasn’t been used in six months, or things you no longer need. Once all those unused items have been thrown away or donated, you’ll have a more clear and easier to manage property.

Modern Tech
A home that’s without computers, the internet, televisions and so on would indeed be simple, but are you happy to live that way? If not, it’s best to upgrade so you have the latest and best. Your home will only be more stressful if you’re handling outdated tech, or if there are too many wires cluttering up your rooms. You can even consider designating one room as “tech-free,” so it can be used for calming and peaceful activities, such as reading or crafts.

Relaxing Green Spaces
Don't forget that your home doesn't end inside your 4 walls. Make sure to look at transforming your garden and green spaces into a calming space too. Some furniture, a bird feeder, and a water feature will all help to put you into that zen state of mind. There’s nothing like the simple pleasures of enjoying the outdoors on a lovely summer's day with the family by your side!

This is a collaborative post.

How to Jazz Up your Garden by Adding a Pond

2.9.19


If you have just bought a pond or an aquarium for your home, then you will need to purchase some supplies to ensure that all your fish have a happy home and stay healthy. It is of the utmost importance that you find a quality company which provides aquarium supplies, so that you are assured that you are benefitting from top quality products! After all, you would not be happy if you had to live in a dirty home all of the time or eat food that you did not like because it was of a low standard.

The first thing you should do is make sure that the company is easily contactable. This is especially important as you are likely to want to seek advice before or after you have brought products. A good company will be backed up by those who are experienced in the industry and they should be able to reply to your questions and queries quickly in order to give you a helping hand. A good example of this is https://www.swelluk.com/pond/pond-liners-54/, for information on quality products like pond liners.

In addition to this, the supplier you purchase from should also boast an extensive range of products. After all, all fish, aquariums, and ponds are different, so they will have a diverse set of requirements and needs. If you aquarium is large then you may require more substantial methods of filtering and air pumping in comparison to a smaller version. If you were to purchase from a supplier who only had one type of type air pump, then how would you know that this was suited to you specifically?


It it is also very much recommended that make sure the supplier has been credited or certified by any bodies or professionals. OATA is the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association, and it is a very good sign if the business you are buying from is a member of this. This shows that the company takes pride in what they do, that they are ingrained within the aquatic industry and that they are always striving to do better.

A final little tip, is to sign up to relevant newsletters, to receive helpful information and advice, and sometimes discount codes and special offer too. You will find that a lot of the top garden and pond suppliers will email their customers newsletters if they sign up, so it's worth looking into.

This is a collaborative post.