Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Bathroom transformation

When we first moved in to our home, there were two rooms I really disliked. The kitchen, for its size, and the bathroom.  I've talked about our bathroom before but as a recap, this gives you an idea of what it looked like: 

Vile, isn't it? Those black tiles went from floor to ceiling.  The accessories were brass, tatty and cracked. As were the floor tiles, with odd tiles popped in by the radiator, where access had obviously been needed before.  But all that being said, it was functional and wasn't on the hit list of rooms to be tackled first. That was until we realised there was a leak under the shower that was leaking through to the kitchen ceiling and we decided we might as well just get it done.  So, just a few days after Christmas, D started to rip the old bathroom out.   We had a few mishaps along the way, including me putting my foot through a rotten floorboard, but its now close to finished, with a few little bits needing to be completed. 

As often goes with decorating, I thought I had everything planned out in my head with how I wanted the bathroom to look. Originally I wanted metro tiling around the bottom half of the wall but when we visited a tile showroom I really wasn't keen on how it looked and so we went with my second choice of wooden panelling and I'm so glad we did!

Originally I was adamant that we would have carpet in the bathroom. Over a year of getting up in the night and early mornings, traipsing across a cold bathroom floor pushed me away from tiles, as nice as they can look.  In the end, however, we went for a vinyl laminate flooring (West Co Luxury Vinyl Flooring Glueless Fitting System in Grey Oak), which we purchased from Wickes and D was able to fit. The colour ties in nicely and, more importantly, is warm underfoot! 

Whilst the bathroom cabinets match, (purchased from Victoria Plum), the shower and bath were purchased as separate pieces but I think everything pulls together perfectly. 

The paint we used was from B & Q whilst the light, bath, taps, shower, and radiator were all found on eBay.  The grey tiles were from Wickes and D did the tiling - his first attempt at doing so and I think he did an amazing job of it.  

The filament LED bulbs were from Toolstation whilst the mirror was a steal from The Range. The accessories you may be able to spot (tumblers, soap dispenser, toilet roll holder, toilet brush and bird on the windowsill) were all from Sainsburys.

We do still need to get curtains up but luckily there is no one on the back of our house and no one has a viewpoint of the bathroom - not that they could see much detail through the privacy glass - but will help finish the room off.

We are so lucky that D is able to do so much in terms of DIY as it saves so much money being able to do it ourselves but it does become quite time consuming when you are working on bits here and there, in between working and spending time together as a family but it is totally worth it when you have a room you love.  After two years of living without a bath, the novelty of being able to jump in the bath whenever I want is yet to wear off!


3 Top tips to stay organised at home

* Contributed Post

Want to stay organised at home and stop things from getting messy and out of hand? Then check out these three top tips below:

(Picture source: https://flic.kr/p/6cP1ZH)

1 - Labels
It’s a real pain in the backside when you’re trying to find something and opening up various cabinets, cupboards, and drawers all over your house. You know what you’re looking for, and you know you put it away somewhere, you just can’t remember where! A very easy way to combat this organisational issue is to label things. Specifically, label drawers and cupboards in your home so you know what’s inside them. You could have a drawer labelled ‘cutlery’ or one labelled ‘tools.' You’ll save so much time when you go looking for stuff, it keeps you so organised. Imagine you need a hammer to bang in a nail on a wall, all you’ll have to do is look for your drawer labelled ‘tools, ’ and it will be in there. Plus, this kind of works both ways as well. If you buy anything new, you’ll know the best place to keep it based on your labelled storage places!

2 - Filing Cabinets

If you’re like me, then your home probably gets filled up with lots of paper clutter through the mail. Sometimes, you have important letters and documents that need to be kept safe. If you’re not organised, all of these important documents and letters can get lost amongst the other junk that comes through your letterbox. Especially if you take the lazy way out and just open your mail and leave it on a table for the pile to build and build. For this reason, you should get some filing cabinets for your home. There are loads of options out there complete with heavy duty drawer runners to ensure they last for a long time. The great thing is, filing cabinets can also be quite stylish these days too. So, you can get the practical benefits of being more organized and having somewhere to store important paper documents, along with the style benefits of a nice accessory to make your family home look nicer.

(Pexels: http://bit.ly/2oSpMrZ)

3 - To-Do Lists

Possibly one of my favourite ways to stay organised at home is by creating to-do lists. With a to-do list, you have a list of all the things you want to get done that day. It gives you a nice little schedule to follow and helps you stay more organised and structured. Of course, you can always create a little to-do list on your phone and just keep checking on it throughout the day. In fact, I encourage this if you need to go out and do lots of errands. But, it’s also worthwhile getting a nice little white/blackboard that you can write your lists on in the home too. My idea is to have this board in the kitchen, as it’s always a room you’ll be in at the start of the day to make breakfast. You’ll see your list and can cross stuff off it throughout the day. It’s organisation made simple!

These three tips are easy to follow and can help bring more structure to your life at home.

* Contributed Post


Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Garden For The Whole Family

* Contributed Post

For most families, the garden is other the dream place of only one member. Whether it’s Nan’s cottage dream or your partner’s bbq playfield, the garden often makes only one member of the family happy. It’s time to stop this phenomenon and to unify the whole family around the concept of a beautiful outdoors field. After all, a garden can be many things, and it certainly doesn’t have to fulfil the dreams of only one of you when it can offer what everyone needs. Here’s how to make the most of it for everyone.

The Garden is Worth It

For a start, it’s good to remember that your garden is worth the effort you will put in it. As a natural extension to the house, it is a place that offers entertainment, relaxation, and natural sunlight. These are plenty of excellent reasons why you should take care of your garden! When you start considering garden work, do make sure to compare the time you intend to work on it and the time you will spend enjoying it. Most gardening projects don’t take longer than a couple of days, which is nothing compared to the rest of the year. But you need to be aware of it: Your garden has a lot to give, if, and only if, you agree to give some of your time first.   

Set The Mood

Think of your garden as you would of a room in your home. Start by getting the basics right to set the ambience in the garden. We are talking essential treatments at this stage, so there’s nothing fancy. It’s about giving your garden the proper lighting system – solar powered LED floodlights are, for instance, a great option to keep a lit garden when it’s dark in the evening – and providing the appropriate care. Sturdy and functioning garden furniture, such as a garden bench or a table, will also set the mood. In short, you won’t appreciate your garden during the warmer months if your furniture has been damaged by the weather in winter.  

Get The Kids Excited

When it comes to loving the garden, children are often the first to get excited about it. And this can be expected as they love to explore and discover the world around them. So, if your garden is big enough, you should definitely consider growing vegetables. It’s a new experience for children, and it’s the best way to get them to eat their greens! If your children are old enough – this will be in the age of going to primary school – you can keep them interested in the garden with the addition of a pond with fishes. A fishpond will need oxygenators, which are plants that create oxygen, to create a friendly environment for fishes. The most common fishpond is from the goldfish family and will help to keep the pond clean. However, if you are planning a large pond, you can use carps too.

Get The Grownups Loving It Too

What do adults need to love their garden? An easy maintenance and good-looking area, it’s all they need. Opt for a chamomile lawn while will never need mowing, for instance. And look out for colourful plants that survive most temperatures, such as most rose bushes and lavender bushes. And ta-da, a beautiful garden made simple!

* Contributed Post

Monday, 17 April 2017

Kids Bickering

It wouldn't be half term without one of the girls being ill and this Easter half term has been no different to any other with T getting chicken pox.  I'd been saying for weeks I didn't understand how, with all the viruses they get, they had missed it when they had been around so many friends who had had it - my niece, four children in T's nursery class and one in E's class.  Thankfully, it was far easier going than I had expected but E still hasn't had it - if she's going to get it, no doubt she'll be covered in spots just after they go back to school!

It also wouldn't be half term without the kids bickering and arguing with one another. Pretty much constantly. Some days its easy to ignore, others I just want to rip my ears off because some of it is just so ridiculous I can't believe they think it is such a big thing. So I thought I'd share just some of the highly important issues they've been..... debating this half term and some of the things I've heard them throw at the other:

E called me a baby.

T kicked me. Probably because E is E laying over her legs (in our bed, first thing in the morning).

X, Y or Z is my friend not T's

I want to lay in the middle of the bed but T's there. T move NOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW.

Wanting to sit on the same side in the car. 

That's it. You aren't my best friend anymore. 

Both wanting to hold my hand on the same side. 

Not wanting to share anything.

Being nice to each other. Sometimes E will take T's cereal into the living room for her in the morning but apparently this isn't to T's approval.  She will scream "she's got my cereal for me, I wanted to get it myself", before carrying it back in to the kitchen and putting it back on the side, before picking it up again and carrying it back into the living room. 

Sitting near each other.

Both wanting to sit on my lap.

T's on my swing (there's 2). 

E won't let me jump in the middle (of the trampoline).

Please tell me, it isn't just my two that are at each other like this?  Don't get me wrong, they can be absolutely adorable with each other - I just wish there was more of the adorable than the above!


Monday, 10 April 2017

Health Scares : Finding a lump

Earlier this year, I found a lump. I found one previously back in 2014, in my breast, but this time it wasn't in my breast but on my jaw. 

To begin with, I didn't think too much of it. In all honesty, I couldn't remember whether it had always been there but after time it began to niggle at me.  Located on the right of my jaw, just past my chin, I found myself checking it and it just didn't feel right.  I eventually made an appointment with the Doctors a fortnight ago who said he thought it was probably dental related, despite my mouth and teeth looking healthy and in good order and advising me to see my Dentist for an x-ray.  He told me if it wasn't dental to go back and that it was important it was investigated.

So I phoned the Dentist, explained the situation and to my surprise they told me they would get me into see someone that day and within 3 hours I had an appointment with my usual Dentist. She had a good feel of my jaw, checked my teeth and determined that it wasn't a dental issue. Because she knows I'm a phobic patient she took me to the x-ray room, talked me through everything and then did a trial run of the x-ray machine to show me what would happen.  I cannot praise her enough for this, it really helped me.  The x-ray showed a lump that she thought was bone but because I'm unsure of how long it has been there she took the decision to make an urgent referral to the hospital.  That was on the Tuesday and by Friday, I had received an appointment for the following week.

I didn't know what to expect at the hospital and felt quite anxious. There's something about being in hospitals that I just can't put into words but luckily the consultant I saw was lovely and put me at ease.  He had a feel of the lump before doing a x-ray over the it in his clinic before sending me to the x-ray department for another. Waiting to see the consultant for the results seemed to take forever and I could feel myself getting restless and somewhat anxious, wishing I'd taken someone with me for the appointment. 

I didn't get the opportunity to ask too many questions and felt the time with the consultant was a little rushed but he told me that he was fairly sure that the growth was nothing to worry about and, considering I'd first noticed it earlier in the year, was slow growing. Apparently it is quite common for growths to occur on the jaw but they are usually on the inside, so he said this was quite unusual and wants to check it again in four months time.So, for now I feel somewhat reassured but I must admit that whilst I'm not wanting to wish time away, I'll be glad to get to the appointment and to have things checked over again.

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