Interior, Interior Design

The secrets of a successful home office transformation

The secrets of a successful home office transformation

The secrets of a successful home office transformation

The priorities of a modern family have evolved massively over the last 20 years or so, and technology is at the heart of it all. Computers are now an omnipresent feature, and most households could benefit from having an office space. Whether it’s to help mum and dad work from home or allow children to complete studies in peace doesn’t matter. Creating a suitable environment for those activities is essential.

Deciding that you need a home office space is one thing, but actively turning that vision into a reality is another altogether. Pay attention to these realities, and you won’t go far wrong.

1. Comfort Is King

When building an office space, you’ll naturally think about designing a space that allows you to work on a computer with ease. Before worrying about this, though, you must ensure that the room is livable.

The most obvious candidates for office transformations are guest rooms, lofts, and garages. These areas have probably gone unloved, so think about energy efficiency and the general atmosphere. Skip those factors, and the following gestures will seem almost redundant.

When it comes to furniture, ensure that your office chair is comfortable too. Ultimately, the home office space should be designed to encourage extended periods of work. If you don’t feel comfortable, however, that simply cannot happen.

2. Personal Touches Make The Difference

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other offices that you’ve seen. However, a commercial business office space serves a slightly alternative function from a home one. Moreover, the design needs are far different too.

This is still a part of the home, and decorating the walls with sports memorabilia and family photos can aid the happy vibes. Meanwhile, if you are using this area for business matters, interactions with other people are likely to take place via the internet. Putting a screen on the wall can provide a video conferencing space. From a practical standpoint, this can be telling.

Above all else, the organisation should be considered to be a major priority. Even when a lot of your paperwork can be kept online, creating ample storage space is key. This is likely to be one of the smaller rooms in the property, and letting it become overcrowded and untidy will harm your relationship with it badly. Use shelves and vertical storage to avoid eating up the floor space, and you should be just fine.

3. It Will Take Time (& Money)

As with any worthwhile home upgrade projects, patience and planning are vital. Rushing straight in will lead you to overlook key elements. And it will inevitably reduce the impact of the transformation.

The decision between using an expert or taking the DIY option will largely be dependent on your skills and the severity of the project. Either way, capital will be required. This type of project is a very suitable reason for getting unsecured home improvement loans. After all, the money you invest will be rewarded with increased property value.

More importantly, though, getting the job right saves the hassle of future tasks. Aside from upgrading your tech facilities every few years, the home office could serve you for decades. This can only be great news for all the family.

***Collaborative post***
Interior Design, Kitchen

Don’t get burned by your kitchen!

Don’t Get Burned By Your Kitchen!

Don’t get burned by your kitchen!

If there is one room in the house that needs to be perfect, it is the kitchen. When you think about it, the kitchen is the place you spend the most time. Apart from cooking, it is also a place to socialise and relax, which makes it a multipurpose area. The sad thing is that most people’s kitchens are the bane of their life for a variety of reasons. If you are one of these people, it is time to crack out the home improvement manual and start the process. But, before you jump the gun, there are a few pitfalls to avoid.

The Triangle

Unlike the Bermuda triangle, you won’t get lost in your kitchen. But, you might find that the room doesn’t have the same functionality without it. Simply put, the triangle refers to the position of the oven, sink and refrigerator. As the names suggest, all three need to be in close quarters so that the room is as functional as it is beautiful. So, if the plans have anything in the way of the three, you might want to reconsider. An island, for instance, is a big obstacle. Always keep the path clear and the three main features in close contact.

Ignoring Practicality

There is no doubt that the kitchen should have a wow factor, and every interior designer would agree. But, it shouldn’t come at the expense of functionality within the room. Otherwise, the kitchen will be all style and no substance, and substance is probably the most important feature of any kitchen. So, the trick is to think before you buy. Will the designer dining table fit all the family? Are the chairs comfy? Is there enough room to cook and walk around? All of these are questions that you need to answer.

Lack Of Storage

It doesn’t matter how big your kitchen is because you will always need storage. Why? It’s because they house lots of different utensils and cutlery, and they are bulky. Even if they are sleek, like knives and forks, they are plentiful. Bearing this in mind, it’s a good time to get creative. The oven, for example, is a perfect place to put a frying pan as it is deep. Of course, the cabinets are always on hand for glasses and pots and pans. Plus, shelves and hooks are low-tech solutions with storage capacity that take up little room.

Designing For Others

Quite possibly the biggest error you can make is designing a kitchen for other people. That can sound stupid, yet it happens all the time as homeowners sacrifice what they want for what they think they should have. At the end of the day, it is your kitchen and you should design it how you please. So, forget about the neighbours and leave them to their own kitchens. Instead, write down what you find appealing and try and implement that throughout the renovation.

There is no point designing a kitchen for other people when they are not going to use it. Anyway, they aren’t paying, so they don’t get a say!

***Collaborative post***
Lifestyle, Slimming World, weight loss

Life changes

Life changes

Life changes

A while back I ended up in an awful car accident. This saw me ending up being cut free from the car, hospitalised for just under two weeks and paralysed down my left side due to nerve damage. I was in a wheelchair for a while and had to learn to walk again.

With not being very mobile this saw the lbs pile on which at the time I was just glad to have survived the accident and it couldn’t have been further from my mind.

Life changes

Once I was more mobile thanks to the intense physio sessions and reflexology treatment I had on a weekly basis I started to gradually build myself back up again. Once more mobile I signed up to attend our local Slimming World group. Back then I managed to lose 3 stone and I was so proud of myself as I had gone through so much and had come such a long way. I had the determination which was amazing and I felt so much better and confident in myself.

My aim back then was to lose about 5 stone, I was over half way there but then life had gotten in the way. Things happened and I ended up suffering from depression due to certain issues. This is where comfort eating kicked in then yes you guessed it, the weight piled back on.
No I am not proud but hey what can I do but pick myself back up and start again. Now I am starting to feel better in myself again I feel that I am in the right mind-set again to try again. I have amazing support around me from Ian, my 3 beautiful boys, work colleagues and even neighbours.
Ian is my rock and said he will help support me in any way he can as he knows it means so much to me to get this weight off and my confidence back.

I have now joined Slimming World again, this time round it is a different group as we’ve moved house since my last journey. I am now 2 weeks into my new journey and I’m currently 6.5 lbs lighter already. I am so happy to be on my Slimming World journey again, I was so happy last time until I sadly suffered with depression.

This time round I am not going to be so hard on myself, I am going to set small goals along the way and little Interim goals. My first little goal is to try and lose 1 stone by my birthday (7th August). This is purely set as a birthday gift to myself. I still have a few weeks to do it in, I feel like I can do it so I’m going to give it my best shot. If I don’t do it then no harm is done I am just happy at the moment with any loss.

To help myself get up and moving I have signed up to do a 5k run. Well they say run but you walk, crawl, skip even hop just as long as you complete the 5k. I done a 5k run a few years back and completed it within 36 minutes. By the time I completed the run yes I did crawl over the finish line and no I couldn’t even talk for 10 minutes but I did complete it and it felt amazing.

All I need to do now is stay as focused as I can and keep telling myself to keep thinking positive.

Interior Design, Top tips

Cutting down costs with energy-efficient Interior design

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Cutting down costs with energy-efficient Interior design

Gas and electricity prices are notoriously on the rise. With living costs skyrocketing and the living wage failing to keep up with the demand, it’s high time that we all start to cut the amount of wastage in our homes. You’d be so surprised at the amount of money that is frittered away through sheer waste. What’s most shocking? It’s entirely preventable! So, here are a few ways to cut down the costs with energy-efficient interior design.

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Windows

The two main areas of a home that lose energy are the windows and the roof. So let’s start with the first. Windows need to be made of glass. There isn’t any alternative, suitable material. But sadly, glass doesn’t tend to have the best insulating properties. But not to worry, there’s a fix to everything. Make sure that your home has double glazing. This helps to create a vacuum of sorts between the two individual panes, containing heat within your home more effectively. It’s a relatively quick process and fitting won’t take all too long. For extra measure, you could make use of a specialist window coating.

Roofing

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Onto the second largest site of energy loss: the roof: about 25% of a home’s energy will be wasted if its roof is uninsulated.  We all know that heat rises, so it is logical that you need a well-insulated roof to keep everything contained. There are a couple of ways to go about this. If you have a pitched or sloped roof, good news! This is the easiest type to work with. You can opt for a warm loft or cold loft. A warm loft has insulation lining the inside of the roof, allowing heat from your home to rise and fill the loft space. A cold loft has insulation lining the top ceiling of the building, meaning heat is contained to the home, but not the loft space. A second area to focus on is the roofing on any extensions or conservatories that you may have added to your home. Check out http://www.guardianwarmroof.co.uk/ for a quote from the most reliable and high-quality manufacturers and installers of the Guardian Conservatory Roof.

Color Scheme

Who would have thought that the colour of your walls could have an effect on energy conservation in your home? Well, it can! Lighter shades, like cream, beige and mushroom reflect energy, slightly preventing loss. It’s a small feature but it’s worth a try, right?

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Lighting

This seems a simple one, but so many of us still fail to make use of energy-efficient light bulbs. These last up to ten times as long as standard incandescent bulbs and are more durable (they are less prone to break from knocks and bumps). Though they are initially more expensive to purchase, they save enough on the electricity bill to cover the cost and more. LED light bulbs only use 2-17 watts of electricity, which is between one-third and one-thirtieth of the energy used by most common incandescent bulbs!

***Collaborative post***
Garden, Upcycling project

Upcycled project – wooden crate

Upcycled project - wooden crate

Upcycled project – wooden crate

We was recently given a wooden crate and asked if we would like it for a vegetable garden. We are still in the process of having a garden makeover at the moment so on went the creative cap to come up with another use. I knew I would be able to make some use of it but the question was what.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

Our garden isn’t a big garden so we are planning on using all the space to its fullest potential. Yes I do grow my own fruit and vegetables and yes this will continue once the garden has had its makeover but the fruit and vegetable area has been put into our plans and the crate wouldn’t work sadly for this area.

But not to say it wouldn’t work elsewhere..

So how did we make the crate fit into our garden space

Our creative cap went on and we enjoyed a sunny day in the garden. We spent the day turning the old unwanted wooden crate into a more useable item such as a wall hung herb garden. We did hope to get two out of the crate but the crate wasn’t big enough sadly. We turned the crate into a two shelved wall hung garden. It is now proudly being hung in the garden as a herb garden. What is the point of us growing our veg to have with our meals without some nice herbs to compliment them.

How we made it

Once we knew what we was wanting to make we then had to decide on which way round we was wanting to make it, such as landscape or portrait. Landscape was chosen.

The wooden slats was removed from the back of the crate

Upcycled project - wooden crate

The crate was then cut in half from its widest point.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

We then cut the sides and the top to size. It was then nailed in position.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

The shelves were then cut to size and added. We also added some extra support to the middle.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

Once it was built and all extra support was added we then sanded it and applied an undercoat. It was then painted white.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

 

Goodbye wooden crate – Hello herb garden.

Upcycled project – wooden crate

The finishing touches was then added and we now have a wall hung herb garden. Just because you have a small garden it doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own. We are now making use of our wall space as well as the ground space. The herb garden is giving off a lovely fresh smell and it also looks stunning.

We have had some lovely comments from family, friends and neighbours.

Upcycled project – wooden crate

We love to upcycle, we also upcycled our old camping saucepans too. Click on the image if you would like to see what we made from them.

Upcycled saucepan

Do you think we made good use?

Lifestyle, Weight loss

Finding myself again

Finding myself again

New group new start

So today saw my first weeks weigh in at my new Slimming world group. Was I nervous? yes. Was I excited? yes. Was I pleased with my result? hell yes. Any weight off in my opinion is good and all I hope for.

I am taking a new approach to my weight loss this time round, I am setting myself small goals rather than one big one. My aim at the moment is to lose one stone by my birthday (7th August) but if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t matter it is just something to aim for at the moment. Today was my first weigh in and I am very excited to say that I am now 5 lb lighter. Next week I am aiming for my half stone award…..I can do this!

Small steps…small steps!

Ian has been a huge support to me, I sat down and explained to him that I am not happy with my weight and sadly haven’t been now for a while. I am kicking myself big time for putting my weight back on that I lost before our move but I only have myself to blame.

I sat and chatted with Ian and we have both agreed to get back into meal planning and batch cooking again. I found this a huge help last time. He is now on board and has agreed to learn new and healthier recipes with me. We both work long days so it isn’t just one of us cooking it is both of us which is why it is best we both learn this together so it helps to keep me on plan.

Diet coke chicken is something different I had heard mentioned a few times in my old group. I recently made it for us all to try and we all enjoyed it. Meal prep plays a huge part for us, with working such long days and not getting home until late, gone 9 pm most nights the last thing we want to be doing then is chopping and dicing vegetables but yet we want a nice homemade meal.

Finding myself again

Batch cooking meals in the only way so far I have found helps us to stick to healthy home cooked meals. Now Ian is on board and is willing to learn this makes it all the more easier to stay on plan. Ian is normally a lover of using his takeaway app to order in when I am out working late. Yes I enjoy the odd takeaway but I’d much prefer a nice healthy home cooked meal. Ian is a good cook and just needs reminding of that.

What we are currently doing is looking at healthy slow cooker recipes and also have a change about with our current eating habits. What I would like to do is find nice recipes that we can all enjoy. I may be out some nights until gone 9 pm but I certainly don’t expect Ian and the boys to wait for me before having their meal, certainly not at that time. Fingers are crossed for a minimum of a 2 lb loss for next week so it will then take me to half stone.

What is your favorite family meal?

 

Lifestyle

The most underrated home Improvements that will transform your family property

The most underrated home Improvements that will transform for your family property

Home Improvements to consider 

Home improvements play heavily on the minds of all homeowners. There’s no doubt that you will make some upgrades over the coming months, just like everyone else will. But how can you be sure that you’ve made the right decisions?

We all think we know where our priorities should lie. However, many of the commonly overlooked jobs are the ones that will actively bring the greatest improvement. Learn to appreciate these seven of the best below, and your property will soon look and feel better than ever.

 #1. Upgrading Security

There’s no greater feeling than the feeling of safety, especially at home. Until your property is properly protected, it will be almost impossible to enjoy it to its full potential. Frankly, this should be one of the first items on your home upgrade agenda.

Improving the security starts with ensuring that all doors and windows are protected by the right locks. Meanwhile, if you are a new homeowner, you may want to get the locks changed just for peace of mind. After all, you never know who the previous owner gave a set of keys to.

Take security one step further by installing surveillance cameras, automated gates, and alarms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and this is the perfect solution.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

 #2. Going Green

Living a more eco-friendly life has become a growing concern for millions as society becomes more aware of the damage being caused to the earth. Protecting nature should provide some motivation but, in truth, personal rewards will give you a far greater incentive. And that’s why the home should be the first place where you incorporate green ideas.

 You don’t have to make the big gesture by installing solar roof panels. The benefits of using LED lights throughout the home are arguably even greater, and it’s one of the easiest tasks to complete. Likewise, saving water with improved dishwashers and energy-efficient toilets is pretty easily achieved.

Many homeowners underestimate how much of an impact those upgrades and home Improvements can have on monthly bills. Those upgrades will pay for themselves, and add comfort for the family. If that doesn’t encourage you to make those switches, what will?

 #3. Painting The Walls

When you enter a room, the colour is the first thing you’ll notice. It might not always be a conscious reaction, but it does happen. As such, the walls essentially set the tone for the entire home, and changing them is the best way to alter the atmosphere.

Painting the walls is a quick and cheap upgrade, particularly if they have been prepped well. You can learn how to do this at DIYNetwork.com. A few new coats of paint will instantly provide a room with fresh energy. However, changing to a lighter tone can actively change perceptions to make the space look larger. That’s something that most families will appreciate.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the desire to add cool artwork and other stylish features, which is all well and good. Nonetheless, the wall colour will have the biggest influence of any single job. Do not forget it.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

 #4. Utilizing The Garden

The home doesn’t simply include what’s inside the four walls. Adding external appeal is equally important for the relationship shared with the property. So, if you are blessed with a garden space, it’s imperative that you use it to its full capabilities.

Essentially, this job boils down to giving the space a sense of purpose and function. Decks and patio areas may be deemed a little pointless by some. But once you’ve built one, your afternoon and evening time in the garden will never be the same game. Those benefits will be felt all summer long while the maintenance is easy too. Perfect.

If the thought of maintenance has been the main obstacle for avoiding the transformation thus far, try adding an artificial lawn too. Time is the greatest thing in our lives, and those saved hours will make a world of difference to your happiness.   

#5. Fixing The Temperature

Most homeowners dream of a property that boasts the perfect aesthetic. In reality, the practical features should always take priority. After all, there’s little point in having the flash TV if you don’t have the basic comforts in place.

The heating and air circulation features should be top of the to-do list. Visit OnlyRadiators.co.uk to learn about the best heating appliances along with tips to get the most out of them. Let’s face it; nobody wants to spend the winter months sat on the sofa in three coats and a pair of gloves.

On a similar note, fixing the temperature and pressure of the shower and kitchen taps will have a far greater impact than luxury home additions. Prioritising tasks is crucial. Take a mature approach, and it will pay dividends in the long run.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

#6. Finding Floor space

Nobody wants to feel cramped in their home. Unfortunately, you’ll need planning permission and capital to increase the physical dimensions. However, creating added floor space will work wonders for the interactions with each room.

Simple jobs like mounting TVs to walls or adding shelves will make an instant impression. Meanwhile, finding hidden storage space in ottomans can work wonders. Combine those tricks with extendable tables and other furniture that can be made smaller when not in use, and you’ll soon see a massive difference.

You don’t even necessarily need to buy new products or complete jobs to see a change. Even the positioning of furniture can transform the appearance of the room. Try out a few different ideas until you find the most spacious appeal. You will not regret it.

#7. Building A Dream Bedroom

What do you consider to be the most important room in your home? Most people will answer the living room or kitchen. While those areas are crucial areas, they don’t come close to the bedroom. Because if you cannot get a good night’s sleep, it will bring negativity to your mental and physical health.

A great bedroom should be more than a place to sleep, but this should still be the number one priority. Investing in a great mattress is imperative, while blackout curtains or blinds will make a huge difference too. Some people will find that a fan may aid their sleep patterns due to the noise and air circulation too.

 

As for the kids’ bedrooms, Improvements you could consider could be high sleeper cabins as a way to aid sleep and create more room for their playing activities. Either way, when you perfect their bedroom spaces, improved sleep is inevitable. For the sake of their development and your sanity, getting this right is a must. Underestimate its importance at your peril.

Do you have any home Improvements planned?

***Collaborative post***
Interior Design

Family Bathroom

family bathroom

Family Bathroom

As some of you may be aware, we moved house back in November. Since then we have been busy, one of our first jobs was to create the perfect family bathroom. We have been extremely busy giving our new house some much-needed TLC that it desperately needed.

All rooms in our new house needed work doing in one way or another (we are slowly working our way through). When you move to a new house this is to be expected. The one room we desperately wanted was our bathroom. We had a family vote on what room to start first and the bathroom won.

The previous people who lived here was disabled and was unable to look after the house and the upkeep/DIY jobs. Being disabled also meant a disabled bathroom – this would have been perfect for them but was not suitable or needed for us. The style of the bathroom was just not us.

Take a look

 

Prior to this video being taken there was also a pull down seat in the shower. We had already removed this to give us more room in the shower as we did not need it.

The bathroom as you can see is only small but we planned to make full use of any space we could. In our old house that too was only a small bathroom and we created a perfect family stylish bathroom. We took the bath out at our old house and put a walk-in shower in place – we soon regretted that as we missed being able to have a bath.

As you can see from above there was hardly any storage space, infact storage space was minimal. A family bathroom to us means storage space is a MUST. I hate having our wash products out on display, I like them stored away when not in use.

family bathroom

The boxed out area was removed and made smaller, allowing room for a bath to go in place and pipe work for the new position of the new radiator.

family bathroom

family bathroom

Measurements was then done to re position the pipework.

How we created our family bathroom

We set out by measuring our bathroom and then took a look online to see what sort of bathroom we would like. We firstly chose our colour, then our design. We then looked at the measurements of our chosen design to see what we could make fit and work best with the bathroom space we have.

We wanted maximum storage and a nice light fresh look. We found this set…..What do you think?

new bathroom

This is the Ardenno bathroom set from B&Q in white gloss. We found the measurements with this set fitted perfectly in the small space and gave us the storage space wanted along with the light coloured fresh look we was looking for.

The wall tile we chose was Haver sand. We liked the detail within the tile and the tile isn’t too dark, we thought it would pair together nicely with the bathroom suite.

family bathroom

family bathroom
The bath is a Cooke & Lewis Conway steel bath.

family bathroom

The floor tile we chose was Nordico vintage beige we wanted to pair the tile colours together as closely as we could. This tile gives a nice wooden flooring effect but infact its porcelain with a vintage design and is a stunning tile.

family bathroom

We wanted a bathroom that had plenty of storage space so that it didn’t become a dumping ground of clutter. We put the time and effort in to the measuring, planning and design of our family bathroom, checking those measurements and colour schemes twice as you can’t be too careful.

Just because we have a small bathroom it didn’t mean we had to compromise on style too just because of its size. Any size bathroom can be beautiful no matter how small.

With the bathroom being a small room we didn’t want to over clutter the room, we wanted to keep it simple with soft natural shades. We are going to add splashes of colour within the furnishing of the room, we are yet to get a blind and new towels etc.

So here is our new and improved family bathroom

Our new and finished bathroom 😍 looking much better 😊 much more our style 😊

A post shared by The House That Never Rests (@thehousethatneverrests) on

What do you think?

As we said above the soft furnishings are yet to be added but we now have a more usable and welcoming family bathroom that we done by ourselves and love.

We moved where the position of where the radiator was, it was taking up space next to the sink so this was removed and it freed up valuable space. The whole bathroom was emptied, re-styled and re-positioned.

Ian is a fully qualified electrician and one of his hates is mini trunking. As you can see from the video of the old bathroom it has mini trunking. All cables are now safely behind the wall. We have also tried to hide as many pipes as possible we think it looks much tidier.

From this

family bathroom

To this

Family Bathroom

Family Bathroom

We now have storage space

Family Bathroom

A much more family friendly bathroom that is more us and our style. We all got stuck in and helped and that makes our bathroom even more special. We try our best to do as much of our own jobs around the house as we can. Making our home full of very special memories that are made with love.

Our next project is to now tackle the garden

Home, Interior Design, Top tips

The benefits of LED lighting in a busy family home

The Benefits of LED Lighting in a Busy Family Home

The benefits of LED lighting in a busy family home

By now, you’ve probably heard the hype about LED lighting. It saves money, it’s good for the environment and it is available in a variety of styles. If you have a busy family home, LED lighting could be a great investment for you. Here is everything that you need to know about the different benefits of LED lighting:

Choice of Styles

When LED lighting first came to the mass market, it was only available in cool-toned bulbs that could make a home look bright and harsh. However, the technology has moved on a lot since then, and LED lighting is availability in a variety of styles and colours. You can get soft, yellow lighting that works well for mood lighting, and bright white lighting which looks great in a bathroom. You can buy LED lighting in a range of styles from pendant lighting to recessed lights for the kitchen and decking area.

Money-saving

One of the biggest benefits to installing LED lighting in a family home is the money that it saves. There is an upfront cost to LED lighting – the bulbs generally cost a bit more than the standard halogen bulbs – but in most cases, you’ll make the cost back in savings on your electricity bill. The best way to experiment with the impact of LED lighting in your family home is to put them in the room that you use the most – be it the kitchen, living room or bathroom, and see if there is a change in your electricity bill.
Although the upfront cost may seem off-putting, it’s important to remember that LED bulbs have a lifespan of over 10,000 hours, compared to 1000 hours for halogen bulbs. This means that you’ll barely ever need to replace them, making them more of an investment than a reoccurring cost.

Reduces carbon footprint

Another upside of switching to LED lighting is the environmental impact. 95% of the energy used in LED bulbs is converted into light and only 5% wasted as heat – the opposite is true in fluorescent bulbs. You also need less LED lights than standard lights, as they focus light in one direction to give a brighter light, unlike halogen bulbs.

Safety

One reason to install LED lighting in a family home is all about safety. As the bulbs do not generate as much heat, they are not as hot to the touch in the event that a child should accidentally touch one. They are also less likely to shatter and break.

Customisable

LED lighting works well in a family home because it is highly customisable. You can connect the lights to a dimmer switch, allowing the lighting level to match the atmosphere. You can have the lights in the kitchen bright for mealtimes and darker for when the kids go to bed and you are enjoying a glass of wine.
You can also connect your LED bulbs to a range of smart home systems, which allow you to control the lights when you’re outside of the house via an app on your phone. This also adds to the saving on your electricity bill, should you forget to turn the bathroom light off when you leave the house.
Would you consider installing LED lighting in your home?

***Collaborative post***

 

Lifestyle

Landlords Vs Tenants – Know Your Rights

Landlords Vs Tenants – Know Your Rights

There are now more people in rented accommodation than ever before. And this means that more and more people have to deal with a landlord. Thankfully, the majority of landlords do their job properly and see to all their tenants issues and problems very efficiently. However, there are some out there who don’t put their tenant’s best interests first.

Are you currently suffering with a nightmare landlord? Your dispute shouldn’t be ongoing as most are very easy to sort out. You just need to make sure that you know your rights. Read on to find out more!

Landlords Vs Tenants – Know Your Rights

Know The Law

You should brush up on the law before you get into any dispute. That way, you know whether you are right to be making a complaint or stand up against your landlord. Sometimes a problem between a landlord or a tenant occurs when one of the parties doesn’t realise that they have broken their side of the contract. So, knowing the law can also prevent you from making a mistake that could end with you in the wrong. You will be able to find out the basic laws by just doing a Google search. But if you want more information, you should speak to a lawyer.

Get Evidence

If you are sure that you have a case against your landlord, you need to gather evidence to prove your point. If you are unhappy with the state of your home, you should take pictures of any damage or improvements that need sorting out. It might also be worth contacting some chartered surveyors to check out the building. If they can show that your home isn’t safe, it will make the landlord act a lot quicker. The surveyors will also be able to give evidence in the event the case is taken to court.

Landlords Vs Tenants - Know Your Rights

Talk Face To Face

Most people contact their landlord through email or letters. However, things can often get misread which might cause the situation to blow up and become a much bigger deal than it should be. If you do find a problem with your home, you should endeavour to speak to your landlord face to face. That way, you can see where you are both coming from, and you will be able to come to an agreement in a very civilised manner.

Keep A Record

Whenever you do make contact with your landlord, you should always keep a record. If you email or write to them, this is easy as you can print out the email and keep a copy of the letter. However, it’s slightly harder if you speak to them in person. But you can still keep a record, you just need to write down the time and date the discussion took place and what each of you said.

Don’t let nightmare landlords bring you down. Follow these steps, and you can help to improve the situation between the two of you in no time at all. If things continue to escalate, then chat to a property lawyer about your next steps.

 

***Collaborative post***
food, Lifestyle

Diet Coke Chicken

Finding myself again

A new family meal – Diet Coke Chicken

With recently re-joining Slimming World I have been taking a look at some of our family meal times. I can safely say that whilst I have not been attending group our eating habits have slowly gone back to our old ways. When it is Ian’s turn to cook when I am working late he mistakenly thinks that the takeaway apps the oven. Accidentally on purpose of course. This is even done when there is a pre made dinner in the fridge that just needs to be put in the oven so it is ready for when I get home from work.

I re-looked at some of our meals and thought perhaps a change is needed and we needed a change and to mix things up a little to help bring back the love of cooking from fresh food again. In our house time plays a big part in our eating habits. Admittedly we love any dish that can be cooked using the minimal amount of pots and pans and is also quick to make. Slow cooker recipes are a favourite in our house.

With us both out working 12 hrs of the day preparing food and a nice family meal can become a problem if we are not prepared in advance as all we want to do when we get in is kick our shoes off and enjoy a nice long soak in the bath.

Batch cooking is something we used to do a lot and is something we need to start getting into again. We moved house since last attending Slimming world, we are now settled and have re-joined at a different group so hopefully this will all fall into place again very soon.

Slimming World was re-joined again on Wednesday and so far the plan has been stuck to so fingers crossed results will show next week at group. One of our new meals we have enjoyed is Diet Coke Chicken….Yes Diet Coke Chicken!

Diet Coke is one ingredient we have never used before for cooking, have you?

This was one meal we had to try, I must say it was delicious. It was enjoyed by all of us, the teens even asked for more so we can’t complain. Lots of veg was added and it was extremely filling. It had been spoken about in group at our old group and new so I just had to try it out with my boys and see if it’s a possible new recipe that can be made and enjoyed again. The answer from my teens was a big yes. I am so pleased to be finding family meals that can be enjoyed by myself who is currently wanting to lose weight and meals that also fits into meal times that family will also enjoy to.

Ingredients used was:

  1. x 4 skinless Chicken breast
  2. Low calorie spray
  3. x 1 red pepper & x 1 yellow pepper
  4. Can of Diet Coke
  5. Chicken stock – 200 ml
  6. Cup of frozen peas
  7. Kale x 2 handfuls
  8. x 1 onion – diced
  9. Mixed herbs 1 tbs
  10. 8 tbs Passata
  11. 4 tbs Tomato puree
  12. 2 tsp Worcestershire
  13. x 1 tbs dark Soy Sauce
  14. x 2 chopped Carrots

How we cooked Diet Coke Chicken:

We heated the pan and then sprayed the pan with my low-calorie spray.

All the vegetables and chicken was then added until lightly browned.

Once browned the stock was then added, diet coke, passata, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and then mixed herbs.

This was then continuously stirred whilst bringing to the boil.

A lid went on the pan, the heat was turned down and it was left to simmer until the chicken was cooked through and the sauce had thickened.

This was so quick and easy to make, all in the one pan too – extra bonus!

This took us 15 minutes to prepare and roughly 40 minutes cooking time and most of that was simmering on its own.

This meal fed four of us and we all very much enjoyed it. This meal made a lovely change and will certainly be being made again. I enjoyed this meal with cauliflower rice Ian and the teens had rice.

diet coke chicken

Do you have a favorite family meal?

 

 

Top tips, Travel

Accommodating the family: A guide to cheaper holiday digs

Accommodating The Family: A Guide To Cheaper Holiday Digs

Accommodating the family: A guide to cheaper holiday digs

When the family goes on holiday, you have to find a place to stay for a couple of weeks. Accommodation may not have been an issue in your younger days, but you now have kids to look after. Unfortunately, travel digs don’t come cheap, so you may have to fork out a small fortune. And, that is before you have even begun to think about spending money. All in all, a regular hotel can make the cost of a family holiday too much.

But, are you supposed to call it a day and wait until next year in the hope of finding something more affordable? No, you are not! What you should do is search for affordable accommodation now. All you need are a few helpful hints to point you in the right direction, and as luck would have it, you can find them below.

Happy hotel hunting guys and girls!

Accommodating the family: A guide to cheaper holiday digs

Search The Internet & High street

Of course, the first place to check is the World Wide Web because it has all of the best deals. Thanks to sites like Booking.com, it has never been easier to find a bargain. Indeed, some people get to stay in four and five-star accommodation without paying the usual price. Still, the internet isn’t the only resource at your disposal. Whether you realise it or not, holiday bookers exist on the high street, and they are very helpful. In some cases, they are even cheaper than the deals online because they need to keep up with the competition. A holiday broker may not have anything that is suitable for a young family, but it is worth checking all the same. When you cover all the bases, you are bound to find the cheapest deals.

Book More Than One Night

Some people like to stay for a night to check out as many establishments as possible. In truth, this is a great way to save money if you can find cheaper digs elsewhere. However, it depends on the deals that the hotel has to offer. In most cases, hotels have discounts which only apply if the guests stay for three or four nights. In that sense, it is costlier to move because the promotion will not apply and you will have to pay the full rates. Before you book, check what promotions are on offer and the terms and conditions. Far too many holidaymakers don’t read the fine print and it bites them on the backside on arrival. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle. The deal may say one thing, but you can ask for a further discount. After all, ‘no we can’t do that’ is the worst they can say.

Stay Mid-Week

Regardless of the time of year, the weekends are always the most popular days. As such, the rates are more expensive on a Friday and a Saturday night. The logical move, then, is to avoid these days whenever possible. Although it sounds hard, it is pretty easy as long as you book the flights strategically. The trick is to fly out over the weekend so that you arrive during the week. That way, even if you spend two weeks, you should only have to pay the peak rates once. The rest of the time will be weekdays, so the prices should be lower. Anyone that goes away for one week to seven days can exploit this trick. Don’t worry about Sundays as they don’t follow the same rules due to the mix of clientele. Leisure bookers, for example, prefer Friday and Saturday, while business bookers stay from Monday to Friday.

Accommodating the family: A guide to cheaper holiday digs

Travel Off Season

The prices in the summer holidays are higher as it is the most popular time of year. But, there is no need to holiday in June, July and August. If you get organised, you can go away in the early autumn instead. All you have to do is take time off work, which isn’t difficult, and link it with the half term holidays. You will find that September is much cheaper even though you still get the weather and the atmosphere. October is also another good time to get away because of half term. Simply put, don’t book a holiday in the peak season if you want to save money on accommodation!

Sacrifice Location

One thing that bumps up the price is the location. People don’t want to travel far to the restaurants and bars and will pay more to stay close to the action. Because most guests are willing to fork out, the hotels shamelessly take advantage. There is nothing you can do about this if you want to be within a stone throw from the centre of town, so you have to pay extra. However, if the location isn’t a big deal, you can take up a position further a field. Then, the cost of the room for the duration of your stay will be a lot lower. And, you can use the extra money to spend on the kids, your partner, or yourself if you get the chance. Also, thanks to public transport, there is no need to miss out on any of the action. A local bus will get you into town within ten to fifteen minutes, and Uber is almost everywhere in the world.

Think Outside The Box

This post uses the word ‘hotel’ a lot because that is what springs to mind when you think of accommodation. But, there are lots of other types, and they tend to be cheaper. All you have to do is research all of your options and get creative. For example, hostels won’t appeal to you because they are for young travellers who like to party. However, there is no need to share a dorm as you can book a private room. Plus, if you pick a quiet hostel, the noise shouldn’t be too much of a big deal. Or, you can rent a houseboat and stay on the water. Houseboats are quite affordable because there are few overheads to factor in as long as you moor in a marina. Finally, there is a guesthouse for those of you who get sea-sick. These are three options, and there are plenty more at your disposal.

Go With A Group

Why? You still have to pay per room. That is true, but some establishments offer discounts for guests with multiple bookings. More importantly, there are more options when you travel with a bigger group. Take a condo or a villa as an example. For one family, these are two options which are out of most families’ price range. But, when there are two or three families together, the price is lower because you split it evenly. After all, the price of a villa stays the same regardless of how many people want to stay. Unlike hotels, they don’t charge per person, which works out in your favour if you can get more friends on board. Just make sure you like everyone you ask. Staying with people who get on your nerves may ruin your holiday!

Accommodating the family: A guide to cheaper holiday digs

Look For Free Cancellation

Once you make a booking, you have to stick to it unless there is a free cancellation option. It is worth noting that the majority of places don’t provide this option for obvious reasons. However, there are ones that are willing to take the risk, and these are the ones you need to find. That way, it won’t cost you a penny should you find a better and cheaper alternative.

***Collaborative post***
Lifestyle, Top tips

Ways to reduce the stress of moving house

Ways to reduce the stress of moving house

Ways to reduce the stress of moving house

Anyone that has ever moved house would most probably agree that it is one of the most challenging lifes events, both physically and emotionally that anyone can go through, even more so if you have children.

Moving house can be extremely stressful as there is a lot of changes happening and unfamiliarity to deal with. This can lead to stress and anxiety if not careful. It is important to make sure moving does not become to overwhelming.

We recently moved house and was a mix of emotions. We was happy but also sad, excited but not. Tears on moving day was happy ones but a few sad ones too. Our moving post and reasons for moving can be read here.

We would like to share a few tips on how to have a stress-free house move.

Our top ten tips are:

  1. Our top tip would be to write an action plan as far in advance as possible as come closer to the moving date you wont be thinking straight and will have 1001 things going round in your head. At least with the plan in place it will help ease some of the stress for you and it is even on paper for any volunteers you may have to come and help.
  2. As soon as you have a date set shop around and get your removal company/vans booked ASAP. It would be awful if forgotten or left to the last-minute and there is none available. Plus it would be a tick off that huge to-do list.
  3. Book time off work to allow yourself time. Moving can not only be exhausting but it also gives you time to adjust to your new home and neighbours.
  4. Book re-direction of your mail and start making a list of whom to inform of your new address.
  5. Put a moving day box aside to keep to hand on the big day and fill with handy things such as, medication, drinks, snacks, phone chargers etc. It is important to have means of contact should anything go wrong as well as keeping hydrated and some snacks to hand.
  6. Don’t make the boxes too heavy as the removal men won’t be too happy. If possible borrow or hire a sack barrow as this would be most welcomed when it comes to any heavy appliances. Also a van with a tail-lift would be extremely useful. Minimize heavy lifting where possible.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help on the big day, some may only be too happy to lend a hand. More hands the better, especially if it’s a rainy day like our moving day was.
  8. Moving house is a good time to have a sort out/de-clutter. If honest with ourselves we are all guilty of owning a junk draw or cupboard? do you really want/need to take all that with you?
  9. Take time out for a short break, have a drink, rest and recharge. Don’t forget to eat otherwise you will burn all energy.
  10. The key to a successful move that we found was organisation. Everyone had an allocated job so we all knew who was doing what. We swapped around during the day so we all took turns to help with the heavy lifting, it also gave us the chance to have a much welcomed rest from it.

If you are moving into a house that is in need of renovation works then perhaps self storage may be a safer option to help protect your belongings whilst works are carried out.

***Sponsored post***
Upcycling project

Upcycled saucepan

Upcycled saucepan

Upcycled saucepan

We was recently preparing for a camping holiday and whilst sorting through our camping cooking equipment we realised that our saucepans had seen better day’s. Where we have recently moved house our camping equipment is currently being stored in the shed at the moment and things was piled on top of it all and it all got squashed as we are yet to still shelve the shed to store it all better.

Whoops!

Upcycled saucepan

How can we make an old saucepan usable again?

These pans were only cheap pans that we got to start us out with camping, they are pans that we only planned to have for a short while anyway. It seemed a shame to just throw them away so on went our thinking cap……….Now what can we make out of an old saucepan? how can we make an old saucepan usable again?

We are currently making plans to renovate our garden so we thought perhaps turn it into something usable for the garden. We already have an upcycled project proudly being displayed in our garden.

From Crete to herb garden!

upcycled saucepan

We made use of the saucepan, and yes we did manage to bring it into the garden and it is still usable, it may be out of shape and no longer usable by us to prepare our meals but it is still perfectly usable in other ways.

We moved house back in November and now live along the river, we wake in the mornings listening to the ducks quacking and the birds singing it is lovely. Before we moved we had traffic noise so not a bad swap at all.

We would love to encourage the wildlife into our garden so we thought we would do this by adding feeders. This is where our saucepan can come in to be of use.

What we used:

Upcycled saucepan

  • Glue gun
  • String
  • Skewer (to save our fingers)
  • Scissors
  • Copper wire
  • Gloves (to protect us from the heated glue)
  • Apron
  • The old saucepan and lid
  • Tray
  • Ribbons
  • Sparkle stickers
  • Drill
Time to make it: 

It took us roughly about 2.5 hours in total at a rough guess. We made this over a couple of days due to work and education commitments.

How we made the hanging bird feeder

We started off by switching the glue gun on to heat through, this can take a good few minutes. We then done our best to make the saucepan and lid round again.

We then started cutting the string to size – we decided to add the string to one half of the saucepan lid at a time, by doing this we thought it would be easier and less fiddly.

The look of concentration

Upcycled saucepan

Once the glue gun had heated and we had the string cut to size that was needed we then put our apron and gloves on and then started gluing the string to the lid. We used the skewer to help position the string. We added two layers of string as we thought this would look better.

We then repeated the process on the other side of the lid.

Once we had completed both sides it was then time to add the copper wire. This was done by Ian, he drilled a small hole in the centre of the saucepan and then the centre of the lid. The saucepan was then placed on the table with the lid on and then turned upside down. A copper wire was then used to feed through both holes, the copper wire underneath the bird feeder was then twisted to hold the wire in position. Ian then left enough copper wire in the top to be able to hang the feeder on a hook in the garden.

We then added some ribbon to the saucepan.

Upcycled saucepan

There was plenty of ribbon so we added some to the lid too.

And of course something eye-catching and sparkly.

upcycled saucepan

Both of which was glued on using the glue gun.

Ta-da. What do you think?

upcycled saucepan

upcycled saucepan

upcycled saucepan

Old camping pans – What bent/squished camping pans?

Education, kids

What a lot of parents don’t expect about school

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

What a lot of parents don’t expect about school

When your kids are already at school, it can be hard to remember just how big a change to the dynamic of family life is. However, you need to jump in with both feet just like your kids do. If you want them to get the best experience at school they can and develop into the best young adults they can, here are a few things worth expecting.

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

It can cost a lot

There’s no getting around the fact you have to spend money on school. You can get around the costs of lunchboxes and uniforms with some of the budget options on the market for sure. But then there are unexpected costs that can pop-up. You might need to start identifying the extra cash you can grab, like local funds or guaranteed loans, to pay for some of them. It might seem like the school is asking too much sometimes, but these costs include things like after-school lessons or school trips. They can be important to seeing that your child gets out of their education what their peers are.

It doesn’t take care of their whole education

When they are younger, you are the primary source of their education, helping them explore their interests and gain some intellectual curiosity. That shouldn’t stop when they get in school. Start with discussions before dinner on what they’re covering and go over their homework and their notes with them. See if you can help them understand anything they might have missed and get a better understanding of how they’re doing.

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

Everyone has to make sacrifices

Your child might be feeling the most put-upon by the sacrifices of time they have to make for school. You should make those sacrifices with them if they’re to see any fairness in it. Take a positive attitude to their education and the changes around it. If they need less TV time to focus on homework, then turn off the TV completely. Help them explore the topics they cover at school in a way personalised to them, too.

Your child will face their own problems

Someday your child is going to come back red-faced and sobbing because something happened at school. It won’t necessarily be bullying or anything as terrible, but a schoolyard argument or being told off by a teacher can be new to both of you. You should expect to help them cope with these unfamiliar traumas. Listen, be supportive, and be cautious about when to start talking to the teacher and the school. If you’re concerned that playground arguments involve physicality, or that disputes between your child and the teacher are chronic, more than a one-time occurrence, then it might be time to arrange a visit.

What a lot of parents don't expect about school

Schools need parents

Then again, you don’t necessarily need an altercation to motivate a visit to the school. Rather, getting involved in helping the school can be much better for all sides. You become known to teachers and staff, rather than a concerned and potentially hostile parent. You learn more about what the school offers and volunteer to help it get and properly use the resources that contribute to a better education for your child.

School is demanding. Monetarily, time-wise, with your attention, you are going to be making a lot of concessions to it. However, your involvement is crucial in not only your child’s success but your school’s success.

***Collaborative post***