Read my UK family lifestyle, making money online & healthy living blog here:

This blog is my personal view only.  I may earn commission if you buy via a link *click to read my disclaimer

Save

Save

 RSS Feed

  1. My bedroom is still a work in progress, but since moving into my first owned home just over four years ago, I finally feel like it’s starting to come together.  The room is by no means perfect with a window that goes right up to one wall and so is severely off centre (who designs these things?), plus it has no ensuite which is something that I really did want when looking for a home, but nevertheless it is a decent large double with plenty of space for me and Ben, even with a king size bed.  In this blog post I'm going to take a look at my bedroom decor and how they reflect my lifestyle choices and personality.

    How my bedroom décor describes my personality

    Minimalism

    The plenty of space is probably helped by the fact I am very minimal.  I’d say ‘we’ are very minimal, but I do fear I have just forced Ben to be this way!  I’ve not just latched on to this minimalism trend that I see everywhere, but for me it has been an obsession of mine for years.  It’s the desire to live with only exactly what I use and need.  Almost every day I am listing items on eBay, popping things in a charity bag and reorganising cupboards whilst ridding them of things we haven’t used in a while.  Ben, my husband, always jokes around saying things like ‘oh look, I haven’t used this for a whole day, better get rid of it!’

    I’m not that extreme, but my way of living probably is a little extreme to people who value things, treasure items for their memories and like a house filled with stuff.  I’m the opposite.  I like my home to be filled with only what I really need and mostly things I use.  I have minimal décor, mostly plants, mirrors and some family photos.  This theme extends through the whole house and not just the bedroom. 

    Art work

    There’s a large canvas in our bedroom and a large canvas above our fireplace downstairs.  I also have a couple of fabric wall hangings; one in the bedroom and one in the living room.  That’s pretty much it for wall art in my home.  I love having just one central piece that the eyes have to be drawn to.  I like it to be a beautiful powerful piece that reflects something of myself.  The large canvas in the bedroom has a very boho feel and is calming.  Though I’m not always calm with the daily stresses of motherhood and running a business full time, I aspire to be.  One day I will be at peace and calm.  I think this is also a part of the minimalistic life for me.  I always feel once all the clutter and junk has gone from my life it will also go from my head.  As there are less things to think about there will be more space for calm and happiness.

    Handmade reclaimed wood wardrobe

    The wardrobe is handmade by my husband from reclaimed pallet wood.  He’s a keen DIYer and woodworker who has just started making his own pieces of furniture.  The wardrobe was a work in progress for around a year and is nearly finished.  It’s not that it took one year to create, but rather he made the frame and then didn’t finish it for ages, despite my constant nagging!  Now it’s almost complete and totally useable.  The left hand side of the wardrobe is a rugged mix of unfinished pallet wood.  The doors have been sanded, smoothed and stained.  It’s a work of art to me and is the perfect representation of my husband’s love for wood and a new chapter in his life of getting to create things he is passionate about.  It utilises the space so well going from floor to ceiling and we have half the wardrobe each.  I don’t even fill up half the wardrobe as you’ll not be surprised to hear my wardrobe is minimal too, sort of a capsule wardrobe.  I probably take up a quarter to a third of the wardrobe with hanging clothes and I’m certain I can reduce this even more.  Another personal mission!

    Bed covers

    Our current bed covers are a light greyish purple colour and were just something cheap to replace some greyed white covers.  At first I fully embraced the white walls and white bed covers theme, but as we wash our laundry using very eco-friendly methods with no detergent, it just wasn’t powerful enough to keep our whites so white and so I decided to go back to a coloured cover.   I love white walls for the simplicity, cleanliness and feeling of space.  I’m certainly a clean and tidy person.  I like to have space and hate to be surrounded with things, whether that’s things in my home or too many people at a busy event.  I like to have space in all situations.  One thing that drives me insane is when people are too close in queues or too close to my car in theirs.  I feel like I can’t breathe.  Personal space is important to me.

    Another benefit of having white walls is being able to change the accent colour in a room so easily.  I was able to easily switch my bed covers from white to a light colour instead.  I am also tempted to go bold with the bed covers.  I just love the Paradise duvet cover set from Julian Charles.  It would look amazing against our white walls with the natural wood and plants.

    Plant love

    My item of choice for décor nowadays is plants.  It never used to be, but over the past few years I’ve found them to create such a calming environment by bringing nature indoors as well as purifying the air.  I have a hanging plant in the corner which is called Devil’s Ivy.  It’s a snip I took from a much larger one I have in the living room and this one is slowly growing and sprouting new leaves all the time, particularly when I remember to water it!  On the opposite wall (not photographed) we have a smallish rubber plant which should grow tall eventually. 

    The colours

    White, green, blue (teal and turquoise) and natural wood are the ultimate theme in my bedroom and throughout the rest of the home, aside from the children’s bedrooms.  These colours represent my love for a clean and tidy home, a love of spaciousness, my passion for natural living and following a wholefood plant based diet and they allow me to grow and develop without being stuck to one bold colourway.  That’s exactly how I feel my life and personality are too.  They are evolving, growing and developing every day especially as I have a thirst for learning more about healthy living and strive to become a better person.

    Related blog posts:

    Why every woman should create a capsule wardrobe
    Home: Why Less Is More
    7 Ways to Achieve a Modern, Minimalist Look For Your Living Room
    My minimal inspiring blogging workspace corner

    How my bedroom décor describes my personality

     

  2. Every Friday I invite other home money making bloggers and money making mums to share the ways busy parents can make money from home.  These are real life people making a living from home who can share their experience with us and inspire us.  If you’d like to feature in this series with a guest post of a relevant topic or you’d like to take part in the interview, please do get in touch or find the interview questions by clicking here.

    I love making money from home.  As a busy mum to two young children, working from home for myself provides me with the flexibility I need to care for my children and avoid high full time childcare costs.  It also means I get to do what I love.  I’m an advocate of earning money online and from apps.  I’m always looking for new ways to make more income from home and hope to be inspired by the many people in this interview series.

    Enjoy.

    Pete Household Money Saving

    Welcome, tell me a little about who you are, where you’re from and introduce your blog. 

    Pete Chatfield from Kent. I blog at www.householdmoneysaving.com. I look at ways of making and saving money.

    Tell me, how do you make money from home?

    I make money from survey sites.

    What makes it suitable for mums?

    It can be done at any time of the day. Plus, you often know beforehand how long a survey takes, so you can often fit one in even if you have just 10 minutes spare. You can even make money when you’re queuing outside the school gates!

    What are three benefits of working at home?

    Never get stuck in traffic, nobody ever steals your sandwiches from the fridge (well, maybe your partner) and you work when you want to.

    What are three negatives?

    The social life is much quieter, your income isn’t guaranteed and it can sometimes be a little boring.

    If you could only pick one, working from home or going to an employed job for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

    Quite a tough choice. I would probably work from home although I would miss the social side of an office. I wouldn’t miss getting up at 5 though.

    People say they find it hard to be productive working alone at home. What keeps you motivated?

    I set a goal on what I’m working towards. At the moment, we want to have a garage conversion. We have an amount we need to save, so I mark it off in a calendar as we get closer.

    Do you have a favourite quote to keep you inspired?

    No. My inspiration comes from my family and unfortunately, they don’t have any good quotes!

    What words of wisdom can you share with mums looking to make their own income from home?

    Don’t expect to start earning big money straight away. It takes time before you figure out how to make money efficiently. And make sure you use forums and Google to find advice from others in a similar situations.
     

    Thank you so much for taking part in my interview series!

     

    Find a directory of all the interviews and guest posts here: https://www.lyliarose.com/money-making-mums-series.html

     

    Are you a blogger? Would you like to take part? 

    Find a contact form in my top menu or email victoria@lyliarose.com if you’d like to propose a suitable guest post.

    If you want to answer the interview, fill out the questions on the form by clicking here.

    Not a mum?  No worries!  This guest series is all about inspiring parents to earn their own income and realising they have more than two choices of going out to an employed job or being a stay at home parent. 

    Of course if you choose to do either of those options that's absolutely fine, no judgement here, but lots of mums, like me, didn't realise there was another way to make money by the many self-employed options available nowadays.  If you earn from home, parent or not, and it's suitable for parents then you can take part.

    Check out the rest of the series here: Money Making Mums

  3. Summer is coming and now is the perfect time to start planning your family days out, holidays and adventures!  If you are looking for some thrilling experiences for your whole family then here are some of the best suggestions for days out to really remember:

    Adventurous family day out ideas for summer

    Track Days

    For the Dads and teenagers why not book a car track day or driving experience?  You can take your own car to a track day  and whizz around with no speed limitations!  If you’d rather try out something made for speed then book a driving experience in a sports car.  If racing round a track isn’t your thing, then look into off road 4x4 driving.  You can often take passengers so older kids and teenagers may be able to enjoy the experience too.  Kids of ages 11-17 are able to take part in a junior experience with an instructor and drive a supercar themselves!  Younger kids will love the thrill of watching all the cars speed round the track and seeing Daddy whizz by!

    Rollercoasters

    What kid doesn’t love a rollercoaster or the excitement of a theme park?  There are plenty of destinations to choose from in the UK with Alton Towers and Thorpe Park being two of the most well-known.  Many parks have sections for younger children too so it’s a day the entire family can enjoy.  If someone has to wait with the kids then take advantage of the shorter single rider queues.

    Paintballing

    Paintballing is an exhilarating competitive sport which will feel like playing a real life video game!  Using a compressed gas gun you shoot pellets of paint at your opponents.  If hit, then you’re out!  Some larger centres offer low impact paintballing sessions with a minimum age of eight years old.  Other centres may have a minimum age of 12 or 15 so check with your nearest centre.

    Tree Top Adventures

    Something that’s been on my wish list for a long time is a trip to Go Ape to try their Tree Top Adventures.  Based high up in the trees of some of the most beautiful forests throughout the UK is a chance to swing, climb and navigate the high ropes to complete the course.  There’s also a junior section which is Suitable for those over 1m/3ft 3" tall.

    Caving

    From ages 6 to 60 go deep into the underground and complete challenges as a family.  Navigate your way through magnificent caves by crawling, climbing, walking and even wriggling!  It’s even possible to do caving indoors in a replica cave which is suitable for both adults and children for a 90 minute experience with realistic sights and sounds.

    Indoor skydiving

    So your three year old may not be able to jump out of a plane at ten thousand feet, but they can experience the safe and exciting world of indoor skydiving.  Yes you read that right, it’s suitable from age three!  Feel like you’re flying in a vertical wind tunnel, have a blast (literally) with the whole family!

    Hopefully this list has inspired you to start thinking outside the box for whole family adventurous activities this summer.

     

    What to read next

    4 indoor keep-fit activities the whole family can enjoy
    Finding your child a hobby they'll love
    Unique and unusual hobby ideas for children
    My Very Honest LEGOLAND Windsor Review
    9 Free Things to do in Gloucestershire (with kids)

    Adventurous family day out ideas for summer

    Collaboration

  4. If you’ve ever read advice on how to limit your business expenses, then you’ve no doubt hear about outsourcing. It’s an idea that’s very useful for home businesses, as you pay companies to handle specific tasks. The alternative to this is hiring your own employees, which is both impractical and too costly for most home business moguls.

    I’m not going to say you should outsource absolutely everything in your business. No, I think there’s a time and a place where outsourcing becomes beneficial, or else it ends up being a massive expense. There are certain things you can definitely handle on your own, and there are certain things you can’t. Bearing that in mind, here are the best things your home business should start outsourcing today: 

    Pexels

    Search Engine Marketing

    A lot of home business owners choose to outsource all their marketing services. They look for an agency to handle everything, and it takes a weight off their shoulders. While I don’t think this is a particularly bad idea, I do think you might be wasting money on services you don’t need. Instead of finding a company to cover everything, find one to deal with one aspect; search engine marketing. SEM is probably the most complicated part of a marketing strategy, which is why it benefits you to get some help. Trust the experts, and you’ll soon have a website that ranks highly in Google searches and brings in a lot of traffic. But, you’re free to handle other parts of your marketing strategy by yourself. This includes social media marketing, spreading news through word of mouth; and anything else you can think of. Many parts of marketing & advertising are simple. So, why pay an agency to do them for you? Save money, and only get help for something complicated like SEM.

    pixabay

    Financial Services

    I had a long hard debate with myself before putting this on the outsourcing list. Financial services cover all aspects of business finance. We’re talking about expenses, income, tax, and so on. Some of you may believe you can handle this yourself. If you have a small business with very few expenses, then it may be straightforward for you to take care of things. However, the one main thing that made me put it in here is tax. It’s so important that your business does its taxes properly and effectively. You may know how to fill in a tax form, but do you know all the different things you can claim back as business expenses? More to the point, how long does it take you to do all of this, and how much time are you devoting to it? You may do it yourself, but this can cause you to miss out on other opportunities as you’re focusing on taxes. Plus, this is before we even bring the other financial things into the equation. Realistically, it will help your business is you outsource a financial expert to handle these jobs. Find an account that knows business finance, and you’re good to go.

    Software Development

    Think your home business doesn’t need software development services? Think again. It’s something that will help contribute to various different things. You can use software development to create a mobile app that brings your business into the modern era. You can use it to build your own web applications of business software to help you do certain things. There are many reasons that outsourcing software development is a great idea, and the main one is that you haven’t got these skills at all. Developing software is so complicated and requires loads of hands on deck. If you were to do it yourself, you’d need to hire a full team, which would be so expensive. So, if you have any type of software that your business needs, then make sure you outsource this service.

    Graphic Design

    Again, this is one of those things you think your business doesn’t have to concern itself with. On the contrary, graphic design plays a huge role in modern organizations. Even a home business needs a proper logo for its website. The only way to achieve this is with a high-quality graphic design. Outsource an artist that can create the perfect logo for you, and then you can use it everywhere to spread brand awareness. They can also help draw up posters or pamphlets to use as marketing material too. It’s cheaper to outsource than it is to hire one full-time, and I’m sure most of you aren’t skilled enough to design your own logos.

    Virtual Assistant

    I’m going to start by saying; this might not apply to all home business owners. If you run a small business where you don’t really take any calls, and most of your communication is done online or via instant messaging, then you can ignore this and move onto the next one!

    However, if you run a home business that often gets calls from existing and potential clients, then it’s definitely something to think about. A virtual assistant is someone that answers your calls for you. They make a note of what anyone says and will email you the transcript so you can take action - if needed. They’re ‘virtual’ in the sense that they don’t work in your home office, and they could be on the other side of the world for all you know. Why should you outsource a virtual assistant? Well, think of the alternatives. You either have no assistance and end up wasting time going through loads of missed calls, or you have to hire someone to work in your home. The first alternative isn’t a good idea as clients can become annoyed when you miss their calls, and a prospective client can lose interest in your services if you don’t pick up. The second alternative is far too expensive for a home business. So, a virtual assistant becomes the ideal solution! You won’t miss any calls, no one gets upset, and you save a lot of money.

     

    pixabay

    Conversion Optimization

    Remember when I spoke about marketing earlier on? That’s just one stage in the process of taking someone from a consumer to a customer. SEM, social media, and all your other marketing material can help generate leads, but you’ve still got to convert them. This is where conversion optimization comes into play, as it enables you to take as many leads as possible and turn them into paying customers. It’s harder than it sounds, which is why so many small businesses outsource their conversion optimization these days. An excellent way to tell if you should do this or not is to ask yourself; do I even know what conversion optimization is? If you don’t, then that probably means you aren’t up to the task of taking care of it. Another good way to tell is to try and look at your current conversion rates. If they’re poor, then it could be time to outsource this job to a company with experience and expertise.

    Home business owners are in a unique position in that you get to work from home. This has its pros and cons, but problems often arise when you think about growing your business and hiring help. It’s often far too expensive to bring in full-time employees - not to mention impractical as you don’t have a proper office! Outsourcing can be the best option, but only in instances where it’s necessary.

    The best thing to do is have a look at business processes and figure out whether or not you can do them yourself, and do them well. If you can’t perform tasks to a high standard - without other areas of your business suffering - then it’s time to outsource!


    Related blog posts
    Why digital marketing skills are essential today 
    How small businesses can use the internet effectively
    7 tips for a successful small business
    Why your small business needs an online presence
    The Ultimate Marketing Strategy to Give Your Business a Boost

    Collaboration

  5. I have a great giveaway for you today from online company Party Bags & Supplies.  I don’t know about you, but it is birthday season for us now!  Almost all family and friends birthdays are from June to August.  August being the hottest birthday month and including my birthday!  We even have a day in July where we have one friends birthday and two family members birthdays all on the same day!  It’s quite nice really as it spreads it all out away from Christmas.  Plus if there are parties or gatherings then these can often be outside thanks to the warmer weather.  Ben my husband’s birthday is 9 days before mine and we also have our wedding anniversary in August.  Phew!

    Win a kids birthday party pack in my blog giveaway

     

    Image

    Another thing to note if you’re a new parent or coming up to school age is the amount of parties once your kids start school!  Sometimes it feels as though there is a party every other week!  It was particularly like this when Bella was in reception, but has calmed down now she is in year one.  We did a Frozen birthday party when Bella was in her first year of school as a big treat and to have some of her new school friends over.  This year we just had a sleepover with two of her cousins.  I did love planning the Frozen party though from designing invitations, to booking princesses and setting up a fabulous frozen themed party table.

    If you have a birthday coming up, or even to be prepared for a future child’s birthday then this giveaway will save you a few pennies on tableware and party bags.  The prize for the competition winner is any item from page https://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk/children-s-birthday/product-reviews which includes a pack of party plates, cups, table cover and even FILLED party bags.  That will be one thing to tick off your list if you win!

    Enter here!

    The full terms and conditions are below, but simply enter using one or more of the entry methods in the Rafflecopter widget below and remember, if you win your delivery address must be in the UK.  There are 16 different ways to enter so plenty of choice.  You can pick one way or even all of them for more entires!

    Check out my Giveaways section for more amazing prizes!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Pin me!

    Win a kids birthday party pack in my blog giveaway

    Terms and Conditions

    There will be one winner

    If you have previously won a giveaway from Party Bags & Supplies, they state you cannot enter future competitions

    The prize for the competition winner is any item from this page - https://www.partybagsandsupplies.co.uk/children-s-birthday/product-reviews

    There is no cash alternative

    There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries

    Winners will be notified within 28 days

    Prizes will be sent out within 28 days of receiving the winners address

    The winner must claim their prize within 28 days or it will be forfeited

    All entries must be received by the date and time specified

    The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email

    The winners name and email address will be passed to Party Bags & Supplies in order for them to contact you to arrange prize selection and dispatch.

    Giveaways are open to the UK only