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  1. Now that the clocks have gone back, winter is fast approaching; in fact I think it might already be here!  The mornings are colder, the nights are darker and temperatures have dropped dramatically.

    If you’re planning to update your kitchen space, you’ll most likely have a list of your top priorities, but many of those lists won’t have considered how you plan to keep the space warm. You might have spent a lot of time pondering the type of bespoke cabinetry you want or worktops, splashback materials and the appliances you and your family will need to keep things running smoothly.

    You might have even started to think about lighting and wall colours but the one thing that can often make or break the usability of a kitchen is often not given nearly enough thought.  That one thing is exactly how you plan to keep your kitchen warm.

    Whatever way you plan to heat your kitchen, from radiators and cast-iron ranges to underfloor heating, your choice will have a huge impact not just on how you use your kitchen when it’s complete but how you design the room from its inception.

    Keeping your brand new kitchen energy efficient and warm in winter

    Choosing the right boiler

    First things first, the key to a good reliable heating system is a reliable boiler. When you’re planning your kitchen design, whether it’s a modern design, traditional, or contemporary kitchen design, it might be worth factoring in a new boiler rather than repairing it if yours is more than 15 years old. 

    Older boilers are not nearly as energy efficient as new models. Updating an old system to an A-rated condensing boiler can reward you with a 90% increase in efficiency.  Replacing a boiler can free up some room for more cupboards or worktops.   Plus you’ll benefit from instant hot water if you opt for a condensing combi-boiler.  

    Underfloor heating

    This is an option that is widely considered as a lovely luxury addition. If you are designing your kitchen from the floor up, then underfloor heating gives comfortable radiant heat and can deliver great savings too.

    You can go down two different routes with underfloor heating. Depending on what type of heating you opt for, it can be used under most types of flooring including: stone, tile, wood and vinyl. It’s best to check your floor is a suitable match before you go ahead and invest, but a large kitchen with porcelain or ceramic tiles are almost always a perfect fit with underfloor heating. 

    One of your options is electric flooring – it is easier to fit, with it being a network of wire elements on a mesh that is placed below the flooring or wet systems, which use water pipes below the floor. An electric system is easier to lay and can be retro-fitted fairly easily if you’re laying a new floor, just check with your builder first.

    The second option is wet systems, which require more work, but are better suited to renovations, such as new extensions or completely new builds. 

    You can install underfloor heating without needing to sacrifice valuable wall space like you would with radiators – instead you can make use of that space for additional bespoke storage options, wine coolers, American fridges or simply some more cupboards.

    It is also vital to have your kitchen design finalised before the pipes or matts are laid for the flooring, as it would be an absolute waste to heat built-in cupboards, or under appliances. A floor plan from your expert designer will help any heating engineer advise not only the best pattern to lay the floor in, but also where to place the controls on the walls.

    Using a timed thermostat means that you can set the heating on to warm the room just enough so it’s a little easier to step into your kitchen on a frosty winter morning. 

    Keeping your brand new kitchen energy efficient and warm in winter radiator

    Radiators

    A safe option, that has been used for many years in the majority of homes across the UK are central heating systems which heat a series of radiators around the home. Usually already in place, updating them from dated 1970s flat panel models to one of the many stunning styles on offer from specialists such as Bisque or Aestus can completely change the look of a room.

    For contemporary schemes look at ladder-style vertical radiators in sleek white and steel finishes and for classic kitchens pick something a little more period in its look like Bisque’s Classic range, which echoes Edwardian shapes. 

    You might want to consider using an online calculator if you are considering radiators. There are plenty of online calculators to help you do this – just pop in the room’s dimensions, the number of windows and the calculator will give you the BTUs or wattage required.  

    Cast-iron ranges

    For traditional kitchens, you might want to consider an ‘always-on’ Aga, especially for farmhouse designs. They will provide a radiant heat to warm your kitchen on a winter’s morning but it can’t run a central heating system. If you want your heat-store range to do that, then opt for models from Stanley or Rayburn, which can often run up to 20 radiators. 

    Go mobile

    There are now mobile apps available for you to control your heating wherever and whenever you are. Investing in an app-controlled heating system, such as Hive or Nest, means you can switch your heating on and off with the tap of a button on your phone.

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    Keeping your brand new kitchen energy efficient and warm in winter 

    *collaborative post

     

     

  2. I’ve recently started selling more on eBay and in particular, I’ve been reselling.  I’ve always sold our personal items on eBay and I had a store linked to eBay for my online fashion boutique, but only recently did I become a reseller.  It’s very early days, but I’m already selling some of my resell items and over time I hope to increase how much I stock.  I absolutely love making money online and selling things so it seems a natural progression for me to become an eBay reseller.  I also love eBay which helps!

    If you’ve also considered flipping items on eBay for a profit, but you’re not quite sure where to source these items from, you’re in the right place.  Today I am sharing with you the best places to source items to sell on eBay for a profit.

    6 of the best places to find items to resell on eBay for a profit

    Online auctions

    Once you’ve made a bit of profit, or if you have some cash to start out with, you can check out online clearance auctions and buy stock in bulk or sometimes singularly.  You’ll often find batches of redundant stock from businesses at a fraction of their usual cost.  As you’re bidding on the items you can bid for only as much as you want to pay.  If no one else is bidding then you’ll get the items for even less than anticipated.

    Outlet stores

    Shopping the sales in regular stores is a great way to bag a bargain, but shopping in the outlet stores themselves is even more profitable.  In outlet stores the clothes are already a fraction of the usual RRP and if you shop in their end of season sales, well you’re going to get an even bigger reduction. 

    If you can hold on to the end of season stock until that season rolls around again you’ll be able to sell more stock for a higher profit.  But don’t underestimate out of season stock.  There are always people going away for winter sun who can’t find summer clothes in store, so they turn to eBay to do their shopping.

    Charity shops

    With a bit of searching you can really find some gems in charity shops.  They often have designer gear and popular High Street labels at tiny prices.  Plus their stock changes constantly so you’ll find something new on every visit.

    I used to think it was slightly immoral to buy stock to resell from the charity shops, but now I think it’s a win-win situation.  I get to make money to support my family and the charity shop makes money.  The more I sell, the more the charity makes.  Plus, I’d rather buy items to resell for a more sustainable world and support a charity, than buy new wholesale items from China.

    6 of the best places to find items to sell on eBay for a profit

    Car boots

    This is the place to find some of the cheapest items for sale.  Some people sell at a car boot to make a profit, but most are regular people having a huge clear out who want to make a bit of cash, but are really desperate to just get rid of the stuff and not take it home!

    Get your haggle hat on and grab some bargains!

    Facebook marketplace

    We’ve used Facebook marketplace to sell items quickly and locally when moving house or if we need to get rid of something quickly.  Often items are sold within a few hours.  If you have the space to store some furniture to resell, this can be a great place to pick something up nearby and haggle the price. 

    It’s not just furniture though, there are all sorts of things for sale, you just need to be able to collect them.

    eBay

    It’s entirely possible to buy items from eBay to sell on eBay!  There are a lot of job-lot and wholesale bulk listings where you can purchase several items in one go and then sell them individually making a profit.  You could also get really lucky and purchase a single item for 99p in an auction and sell at a profit. 

    I often check the sold listings and see the same second hand designer shoes, for example, sell for 99p and £20.  If you have the patience to wait for a little more money when selling something, then it’s always worth waiting.  Starting an auction at 99p when selling isn’t always the best move, but it’s great if you’re looking for these items to resell.  You could just get lucky and bag some designer gear for pence.

    You may also find bargains when people have misspelled listings or taken really unclear pictures that others simply scroll past.  Items listed in the wrong category or ending at an undesirable time can also be great for getting the best deal on a price.

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    6 of the best places to find items to resell on eBay for a profit

    *collaborative post

  3. I was recently set a style challenge by menswear clothing website Jacamo to style the man in my life with their clothes for £100.  I managed to kit hubby Ben out from head to toe with brand new jeans, a shirt, a parka jacket and even a pair of casual hi-tops for said budget.

    I’ve never really dressed Ben before.  He works at the head office of a large fashion brand so gets a lot of clothes from work, meaning we never have to shop for clothes for him.  Buying from another retailer was quite tricky at first as I’m so used to seeing him in the same clothes, but Jacamo have loads on offer. 

    They stock affordable clothes as well as well-known brands such as Firetrap, French Connection, Nike and many more.  When I realised I could get a whole outfit for £100 I rose to the challenge.  The challenge of dressing him head to toe, as well as attempting to find an outfit he’d actually want to wear.

    I chose black jeans as he only wears blue jeans.  Click here to see all the jeans.  He’s actually worn them since they arrived so that was a great choice.  Go me!  The shirt is a flannel feel, so super soft and cosy for the winter months in a festive red colour.  Hi-tops are always brilliant for keeping the wet ground away from feet and ankles warm so I reckon he’ll get a lot of use from these the coming months. 

    The jacket is quite lightweight, but perfect if you’re already wearing a stack of layers underneath, I’m thinking long sleeve tee with festive knitted Christmas jumper over the top… tis the season.  So if you’ve already got a few layers on, this jacket is great and you won’t feel so Michelin man like and unable to move.  That's the one thing I hate about winter - being so padded up in clothes I don't feel free.  View the jackets they stock here.

    I don’t think I did too badly and I reckon he looks pretty good.  I told Ben he can have the clothes so long as he poses for some photographs for my blog post.  He’s definitely more comfortable than me with having his picture taken, but I think he does feel like a plonker trying to actually pose for a clothes photo!   So we had a bit of a giggle and took some of his version of model poses as well as some more serious ones.

    Enjoy!

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (3)

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (4)Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (2)

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (5)

    And here's little Reuben wanting to get involved too:

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (1)

     

    *I was sent these items for review by Jacamo – they sell some great menswear (see fabulous model hubby Ben above)

     Here are some more of my brilliant fashion blog posts:

    Do you dress like a mum? How my style is changing now I’m in my 30s. 
    Five Other Ways to Use Your Fashion Scarf 
    A peek at my new outfits from affordable fashion website LOTD

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    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo

  4. As you know I love making money from home by blogging, reselling on eBay, my online fashion boutique, matched betting, and many other money making ventures.

    But did you know there are also ways to win money for free?

    I take part in various free online lotteries.  These are lotteries that cost nothing to enter and I could win a cash prize!

    Some of them are very small, say £5 or £10, but some are often around £500!

    You’ve basically got nothing to lose, so you may as well sign up and give it a go.  The only commitment is to check the sites each day to see if you are a winner. All these sites send a daily reminder email, so you don’t even have to remember yourself.  You have to claim the prize on the day if you are the winner, so make sure you do check your emails or you could miss out.

    How do they make their money for the cash prizes?  From us visitng their sites every day through ad revenue.

    I’ve not won anything yet, but for a few seconds of my time each day it’s worth checking.  I’ve seen another blogger has won twice on one of the free lotteries!

    Here are the lotteries I take part in and links to where you can sign up too.  Some of them are referral links so I may get some extra points or something.  Many of the sites offer points for each day you visit to check which can increase your win or the members with the highest points can win a prize.  It’s slightly different on each free lottery, but generally they are all pretty similar.

    5 free lotteries I take part in every day:

    5 Free Daily Lotteries With Cash Prizes

    DOBlotto

    Your date of birth gets entered into a daily draw.  £50 or more is given away each day. Sign up here: http://doblotto.com/r/5c268b

    Free Postcode Lottery  

    Your postcode is entered into a daily draw.  The main prize is usually around £500 every day.  There are some smaller bonus draws too.  Plus, every day you check an extra 1p is added to your prize fund.  Sign up here: https://freepostcodelottery.com/?ref=862218

    Emoji Lottery    

    Emoji lottery is great fun!  Pick five emojis and they’ll be entered into a daily draw.  So far I’ve seen prizes from £5 to £20.  Sign up here: https://emojilottery.com

    Lucky Phone     

    Enter your mobile phone number into three draws.  A daily draw for £20, a lucky dip for £10 and a mega draw with prizes of up to £1000.  Don’t worry - your exact phone number isn’t shared if you win!  You’ll see your username if you’re a winner.  Sign up here:  https://www.luckyphone.co.uk/home?refer=12117

    The Street Lottery          

    Though it’s called The Street Lottery, it’s actually your username that is added to a pool from which winners are picked at random.  Daily prizes are around £10.  Sign up here:  https://thestreetlottery.com?ref=6169

    I’ll let you know if I have any winnings.  Good luck!

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    5 Free Daily Lotteries With Cash Prizes

     

  5. I can hardly believe that the holiday season is upon us and that 2017 is about to be drawing to a close. With so many upcoming events for you and your family, I’m sure keeping your little girls outfitted in super stylish duds is on the list of things to do. I’ve got you covered—here are five of my boutique fashion favourites of 2017.

    Dresses

    No doubt there will be several occasions or events you need to attend during the upcoming holiday season that will require a dressier look. Dressing up for both little and big girls does not lose its allure. I have found some unique and super dazzling girls party dresses that I’m over the moon about. You can pair them with leggings, stockings, or just go with bare legs underneath as they all are modest in length and designed for both style and comfort.

     2017 Little Girls Boutique Fashion Favourites with La Bella Flora

    Tunics and Leggings

    One of my personal favourite outfits of 2017 is a casual long sleeve top or tunic and a pair of leggings.  It’s our go-to outfit choice for play and comfort. You can dress these outfits up or down depending on the event you are going to. By pairing an understated shirt with a bright coloured pair of leggings your little one can stand out in the crowd while being comfortable all at the same time. These outfits are perfect for both school days and weekends around the house. Check out some of our favourites from La Bella Flora!     

    2017 Little Girls Boutique Fashion Favourites with La Bella Flora (1)

    Headbands and Bows

    If you’ve been through the struggle of trying to tame a child’s wild locks, than you know exactly why this next one made my list. Headbands and bows are a totally dual purpose. Not only do they provide a pop of colour and a little something ‘extra’ to an outfit, but they also help keep unruly hair out of the eyes. No more watching your kids constantly push hair out of their face while they are playing with friends, working on homework, or eating dinner. Stocking up on some cute headband and bow options will solve the ‘hair in the face’ problem and add some style to their outfit.

    2017 Little Girls Boutique Fashion Favourites with La Bella Flora (2)

    Outerwear that rocks 

    In most places we associate cooler temperatures with the holiday season, that’s why I’ve picked some of my favourite outerwear looks for the 2017 cool weather season. Sometimes you need a coat that goes with a party dress for those special occasions, one that keeps you warm and doesn’t clash with the cute outfit underneath. Paired with hats, mittens or gloves, your little girl will stay warm and look completely adorable with these outerwear choices.

    2017 Little Girls Boutique Fashion Favourites with La Bella Flora (3)

    Back to school backpacks

    Ok, so technically a backpack is an accessory but it’s one that gets used all the time during the school year.  Why not choose one that adds some flare instead of your standard basic bag? Going back to school is fun and you can surprise your little one with an extra special backpack that represents their own vibe.

    2017 Little Girls Boutique Fashion Favourites with La Bella Flora (4)

    I just love these boutique looks of 2017 and want the rest of this year to go out in style, so join me in ending the year with a bang and lots of good fashion choices!

     

    Love fashion posts?  Check these out:

    Do you dress like a mum? How my style is changing now I’m in my 30s. 
    Five Other Ways to Use Your Fashion Scarf 
    A Christmas Gift Guide for Hubby with Jacamo
    Winter Fashion Essentials
    A peek at my new outfits from affordable fashion website LOTD

    *collaborative post