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Category: Home & Garden

  1. A sneak peek at my new dedicated bedroom blogging space

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    My minimal inspiring blogging workspace corner

    Our bedroom has been one part of our home that, until recently, has had the least attention.  I’m not the sort for a romantic boudoir or anything particularly girly, so it’s been hard to reflect my style in our bedroom.  It’s taken a long time to come up with ideas, or find things I like.  I finally feel like I’m getting there, three years after buying our home.  The most recent addition to our bedroom is a blogging desk in the corner of the room.  A brand new space for me to sit and blog to my heart’s content late into the evenings!

    sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space design with desk from k

    Owl Vase - sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space with desk fr

    I’d not thought about putting a desk in our bedroom before.  We had an office desk in the bedroom of our old home, but it really didn't look right.  It was a big typical looking wooden desk with a black swivel office chair.  It just felt way too office like for a bedroom and not visually pleasing at all, so when we moved we got rid of the lot and I said ‘no desks in the bedroom!’

    bedroom minimal blogging space with desk from kit out my office

    copper star geometric candle holder - new bedroom minimal blogging space wi

    Luckily desks don’t all have to look so formal and work like.  They can actually look quite fitting in the corner of a bedroom if you pick the right frame and colour.  To suit my white minimalistic theme throughout my home I chose a small A-frame desk with one single drawer; nothing too fussy or large, just a perfect little desk to fit neatly in the corner of our bedroom and to blend in with the rest of the decor.

    sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space with desk from kit out

    I had no idea if it would make our room look any less like a bedroom and perhaps even strange, but it actually brings the whole room together.  We had rather a blank space of wall and floor opposite our bed which looked quite plain and I had no idea what to fill it with, until the blogging desk idea.

    Hello Lovely Notebooks - sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging spa

    We do have a home office space downstairs.  It’s a converted garage which is two thirds a playroom and one third an office and storage area.  It feels like quite a formal area with calendars, household bills, paperwork, printers, scanners and the general clutter of family life regularly piling up on top of it.  I mostly choose to blog in the calmer living room sat at the dining room table, or with the laptop perched on a cushion on my lap.  Now I have my very own separate blogging space away from the hustle and bustle of organising our family schedules and separate from the living area.  A place I can sit away from the craziness of family life, if I need to, to work in peace and quiet.  A little blogging corner of my own.

    sneak peek at my new bedroom minimal blogging space with desk from kit out

    Working from home is definitely more of a pleasure than a chore, but cabin fever can set in and I often feel I am here 24/7.  The walls can start to feel though they are closing in sometimes.  A new blogging space will give me the freedom to change my surroundings and pick and choose where I work in the house.

    Do you have a dedicated blogging area in your home?

    A sneak peek at my new dedicated bedroom blogging space - My minimal inspir

     * Collaboration with Kit Out My Office

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  2. Make your garden the place to be this summer

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    4 great ways to spend time in your garden

    This summer is planning to be one of the most favourable in a while.  Finally! Weather conditions are proving to be picture perfect; blue skies, a warm sun, gorgeous greenery all collate into one amazing seasonal experience. Why not spend this time enjoying the freedom and potential of your own garden?

    I certainly plan on spending a huge chunk of the summer holidays in our garden with the children.  Not only do the children love getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air, but there are other ways to make the most out of your outdoor space this year.

    Here are four great ways to ensure you make the most of your garden this summer:

     4 great ways to make the most of your garden in summer

    Grow your own fruit and veg

    A solid vegetable patch is sometimes all you need to keep yourself active and productive this summer. I’ve often blogged about the practicalities of running one and maintaining it. If you have a decent garden size or allotment and have a green thumb, you’re likely to be well on your way to becoming that little more self-sufficient and finding an enjoyable hobby.

    It’s overwhelmingly rewarding. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing your vegetables and fruits grow.  Actually there is – eating it!  The children also love to eat the vegetables we have grown, especially if they get to pick them too.

    Create an entertaining space

    If you’d like to upgrade your garden area to host a group of people you love, why not do so? Our gardens are often the least prioritised area of our households when it comes to home maintenance, as most people would like to focus first on the living or bedroom areas.   Treat your garden like another room in the house, after all it kind of is.  A well-maintained and upgraded garden can be a great place to host guest and enjoy conversation well into the warm summer evenings. Why not update the space with outdoor lighting, or even maintenance free decking?   Once you’ve done the initial hard work and turned your garden into a beautiful space it will be much easier to maintain.

    Top up your tan

    There’s no better place to get a tan than your garden!  If you want to ensure an all over tan, then you’re going to need the privacy of your own space, unless nudist beaches are your thing!  There’s nothing quite as relaxing as tanning in a sun trap garden with your own music and comforts just a few steps away.  Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen to protect from the sun’s dangerous rays.

    Lose yourself in a story

    If you can find a moment to escape into a book, there’s nothing quite like reading outdoors surrounded by beautiful greenery and chirping birds!  Lie back on a deck chair or lounger and nestle your feet into the cool grass.  It’s almost like meditating as you lose your mind into the pages of the book and forget all of life’s daily stresses.

    A happy garden is a well-maintained garden. Take care of the second, and you’ll be blessed with the first.

    4 great ways to spend time in your garden

    *collaborative post

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  3. Lemonade Occasions: Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops and Party Decor Wishlist

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    The dreamiest party decorations shop ever!

    I have discovered the most awesome one-stop online party decor shop which I'm sure most bloggers are going to fall head over heels in love with!  There are rainbows, unicorns, pastels, ombre, flamingos, snow queen, and white and gold themes to name just a few.  The website is filled to the brim with the most gorgeous and unique party decor I have seen.  They really have the best selection of party wear and I’m gutted I didn’t know about this shop when I planned my daughter’s Frozen birthday party just a few weeks ago.

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions

    Beautiful Blue Balloon Pops Review

    This amazing online party supplies boutique is called Lemonade Occasions.  They kindly sent me some of their balloon pops to review which are by a brand called Poppies for Grace.  Have you ever seen balloon pops?  I hadn’t, but I thought they sounded pretty cool and so was up for trying a pack.  It sounded like something the kids would have a lot of fun with; if not dotted around a party as pretty décor, they also make excellent play wands or wizard sticks!

    FullSizeRender2

    I set them up last night so I could take a few snaps before the kids got their hands on them.  If Bella and Reuben had seen me making these, I’d have stood no chance!  The pack came with instructions that even I could follow and in around 5-10 minutes I had a little set of rather cute balloon pops.  These are mini balloons on ‘sticks’ (which are funky patterned straws), some filled with confetti and some plain, plus a little ribbon tie.  I love how pert the balloons are!  Standing upright on their sticks, tall and proud.

    FullSizeRender3

    They’re such a great idea and I think they looked fab!  They’d have been perfect at Bella’s party, where the girls would have ran around in their princess dresses with their balloon wands no doubt!  I can also imagine really mini tiny ones as cake decorations!  Now that would be ever so cute.

    Bella and Reuben grabbed them straight away when they came down this morning!  They were a big hit.  I was hoping to get some snaps of them playing with them, but the heat wave is knocking them out a little bit!  They were quite content sat on the sofa holding a little bundle each before school and playgroup.

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions Party

    Who are Lemonade Occasions?

    Lemonade Occasions is a small family ran business who handpick the most stylish, fun and unique party accessories from around the globe.  I can tell a lot of thought has gone into every selection and there is no tat on the website, only quality products to enable you to have the most awesome looking party ever!

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (1)

    My Lemonade Occasions Wishlist

    I could literally share with you every single thing on the website.  There are so many incredible themes for both adults and children; it was a chore to have to whittle it down to just a few to share with you.  Here are eight of their most fantastic party decorations for you to ‘oooh and aaah’ over!  You can find Lemonade Occasions at www.lemonadeoccasions.co.uk to view the rest.  Let me know your favourites!

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (1)

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (2)

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (6)

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (7)Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (8)

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (10)

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (9)

    Beautiful Blues Balloon Pops by Poppies for Grace Lemonade Occasions (11)

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  4. Salvage Your Way to an Affordable New Kitchen

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    How to use reclaimed pieces to renovate your kitchen

    As summer approaches you’re likely to be spending a lot of time in the garden mingling with friends, relaxing to some music and enjoying a few drinks among friends and family as the amber sun sets. However, if you’re planning on hosting, you and your guests will probably also be spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

    This is the time when a lot of us decide that it’s time to renovate our kitchens, but not everyone has the budget for a full-scale makeover.

    Fortunately, you’d be astonished what you can do yourself if you heed some DIY kitchen tips and are realistic with yourself about what you are capable of doing and where you might need to call in some help from a professional or at least a skilled relative.

    If you’re concerned about the price of materials, however, then rejoice! Because you have a new best friend and his name is salvage.

    Salvage Your Way to an Affordable New Kitchen - How to use reclaimed pieces

    What is salvage? 

    Salvage generally refers to the use of reclaimed materials (in the kitchen this can be worktops, cabinets, fixtures or even plumbing) from demolished or renovated properties.

    Salvage can even apply to reusing or repurposing items from your existing kitchen.

    What can be salvaged from my existing kitchen?

    Some items will be easier to repurpose than others but the following are usually a safe bet:

    • Lighting
    • Windows
    • Doors
    • Cabinet hardware
    • Flooring (especially wood which can be sanded down and re-finished)

    The only thing to note with cabinets is that they’re only salvageable if they are constructed as self-contained, independent boxes.

    Salvage Your Way to an Affordable New Kitchen - How to use reclaimed pieces

    Where can I salvage from?

    There are companies all over the country that deal in reclaimed materials and architectural salvage so wherever you are there’s a good chance that you can access affordable salvage. However, if you’re determined to source everything by yourself then it’s worth poking your head around the door wherever you see a restaurant or cafe closed for renovations to try and pick up some useful scraps.  They may even have a skip you can rummage through!

    Stone masons and timber merchants will usually be happy to let you sift through their remnants for anything useful like chopping boards or, if you’re extremely lucky you might see something big enough to be repurposed as a worktop. 

    Needless to say that this approach has some logistical complications so it’s not recommended to use this approach if you’re on a time limit.  Or if you have no way of transporting a huge piece of wood!

    When it comes to populating your new kitchen then there are a great many online stores that specialise in salvaged and repurposed furniture.

    Anything else I need to know?

    While the look and feel of the kitchen will be, at least partly defined by what materials you’re able to get your hands on it’s still a very good idea to plan ahead with a rough idea of the kind of look you want to achieve.

    Otherwise you could find yourself investing time effort and your hard-earned money on materials that you’ll later have to dispose of (which can be costly) because they simply don’t fit in with your kitchen’s new look.

    *collaborative post

     

     

  5. Your Path to Owning a Home

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    3 things to do if you want to own a house

    Buying our home has been one of the best things we have done.  Not only is it our home, but it’s an investment for our children’s future, their inheritance once we are gone.  Hopefully it will enable them to buy their own homes one day.

    Do you want to own your own home? In most circumstances, the answer will be yes. A home is a fantastic investment, and it's also a great opportunity. You can choose to live in your own home, or you might choose to rent it out to bring in income from residential tenants. There are a lot of good reasons behind owning a home, so of course - most people want to do it. It's a good decision for you and your future.

    However, it isn't as easy as simply saying that you want to own a home.  You don't just get a home because you want one. If only it were that easy.  You've got to do a lot of research, you've got to do a lot of saving, and you've got to be prepared for the responsibility of owning a home, because it is a pretty big one and it isn't always simple or easy to be a homeowner.

    Here are the three things you need to do before you can own your own home:

    Your Path to Owning a Home

    Save a deposit

    This is to secure the mortgage, so the lender doesn't lose out. If a lender loses out en masse, it can cause a recession and a crisis - so they need to be protected, and the deposit does that job; part of it, anyway. A deposit will be formed of at least a five or ten percent value of a property. So if you want to buy a house that costs £200,000, you want to save up between £10,000 and £20,000. Ideally, you want to save up 20 percent of the property value. This isn't necessary, but you’ll get a better choice of mortgage rates and ensures that your repayments are lower.

    Apply for a mortgage

    This is critical to home ownership and it is the loan given to ensure a home can be bought. Once you choose a property, you'll need to have a mortgage accepted in order to make a valid offer. Whether you are accepted and how much you’ll be allowed to borrow depends on your credit rating, income and deposit.

    Sometimes repayments can be hard to meet -but you shouldn't be worried as help can be found from the source of the lender - you simply need to call them and advise them of the situation. They may be able to help and provide a short term solution.  It’s best to get a mortgage you know you can afford in the first place so you don’t run into difficulties.  We chose not to max out and went for a property under budget that we can afford to overpay the mortgage on so we have a nice safety net.

    Check the survey

    Once you have a mortgage, you need to ensure the property is suitable. If you have any issues or second thoughts, pull your offer and wait. It's a big commitment and if it isn't right for you then don't go through with it.  If the property is suitable, go ahead with the offer and ensure it’s all legally suitable. You’ll have to pay for a survey to guarantee the mortgage and this survey should highlight any major concerns.   If it flags up something that could cost a fortune to put right, you may want to withdraw your offer and move on, unless you can afford the repairs and it’s your dream home.

    If you like this blog post, you may like my Home and Garden category!

    *collaborative post

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