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  1. We’ve been dreaming of a garden room for a while now and I’m pretty certain it’s going to happen.  Ben just needs to find a few extra days in the week to get the project underway.  He’s planning on building it by himself.  We have started prepping the garden this summer.  There was a big falling apart shed at the bottom of the garden with the neighbour’s tree growing through the roof!  Glad to report we have knocked it down this summer and replaced all the rotting fence panels behind it.  Now we have a lovely big space to plan our garden room. 

    Our plan is a bedroom with ensuite shower room and a separate living space with a kitchenette.  We’ll section off the bottom of the garden with fencing or a hedge so the room will have its own garden, perhaps with decking and a seating area.  We’ve even discussed adding a hot tub!  We plan on running electricity and water down there so it’s really proper!  The overall aim is to rent it out as a short let, a couple of nights or so, and to have a regular income.  Luckily we have a 90 foot garden and it’s around 7 metres wide, so we have lots of space available for this project.

    Garden rooms are becoming more popular in recent years and I’ve noticed them springing up everywhere.  We’ve also had so many conversations with friends and family who want their own, with lots of different ideas for the use.  If you, too, have a rotting away shed at the bottom of your garden, perhaps it’s time to think about using that space for a garden room of your own.

    10 awesome ways to use a garden room

    The humble garden shed has had quite a makeover in recent years

    Oeco Garden Rooms has 10 useful tips (and some slightly unusual ideas) for what you can use the space for:

    1: Work – Whether you want to be more creative with work or produce more efficient results, then escaping away from distractions of the main house will be a huge head start. If you want to skip the commute or run your own business from home, a garden room offers you the space and peace you require.

    This would also be a good idea for your kids school work, bringing them out away from their distractions and into a peaceful office/library based garden room, allowing them to focus, achieve and improve overall results.

    2: Airbnb/guestroom – Garden rooms are perfect for adding an extra room to your home for family and friends to stay in whilst they visit. Another idea is you could set up your own Airbnb, perfect for making some extra money on the side or gain your initial investment of the garden room back.

    3: Home spa – Want to get that same spa experience at home, use a garden room to create your own. Fit a home sauna or steam room, or both, as well as a rainfall shower and somewhere to relax. You can add your own spa touches with oil burners or incense and you could even extend the spa experience outside with a hot tub.

    4: Your own Yoga Ashram – It’s important to focus on health and wellness, and a garden room is the perfect space to create your own Yoga Ashram. Add some ambience with mood lighting, cushions and pillows and of course a yoga mat. You will have your own little space to escape to, to keep calm, clear and collected.

    5: Helping hand – It could be a very productive idea to set up the summer house for your son, daughter or a close friend to stay in whilst their on the hunt to save money. Introduce the facilities they need, set up any extra necessities they require and charge them an affordable negotiated rent.

    This would be a great way for youngsters to save money, whether they’re currently studying or only working part time.

    6: Your own local - As UK pub numbers dwindle, why not turn your garden room into your own little bar. If you brew your own beer, make your own wine and enjoy making your own flavoured spirits, expand your hobby into your own bar. Get together with family and friends without having to leave your garden.

    7: Vintage game arcade – Long gone are the game arcades of the 80’s and 90’s, but if you’re feeling nostalgic and enjoy retro games, why not use a garden room to make your own vintage video game arcade. Set up old and new consoles, dance and music games and even arcade machines for a blast to the past.

    8: Gym – Have your very own gym, add different work out equipment to the garden room, leaving an area for floor work... Add in mirrors down one side, so you can watch your form and build in a music system to keep you motivated. Garden rooms also have enough space to add in a shower and changing room too.

    9: Hobby room – If you and your family all share a number of hobbies, why not turn your garden room into a hobby space. Whether sewing or crafting, to beer making or furniture restoration, garden rooms make great areas to enjoy your favourite pastime. Keep the equipment, smells and dust out of your home.

    10: Memorabilia room – Ever wanted to collect and horde your own memorabilia collection? With the space from your garden room you’ll be able to finally build up your dream collection.

    As you can see, there are multiple ways you can use your garden room, whether you want to use it for work, your creative and passionate hobbies or just as a space away from the main house to relax and unwind. Anything is possible.

    What would you use a garden room for?  Let me know in the comments.

    Related blog posts:

    5 great ways to use a garden room
    A sneak peek at our garden makeover progress
    Dreaming of a Future Room

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     10 awesome ways to use a garden room


  2. I can’t quite believe it, but I’ve had my brace on for 18 months now!  It feels like a milestone!  And perhaps not the most joyous of milestones as it was predicted I’d need a brace for 18-24 months, so this means the 18 month window has gone out the window!  It’s looking more like 24 months now as there’s still a lot to fix.  We left it a few months to put the bottom brace on as it seemed like less work, but now I think the top is coming together and there still seems to be a lot to do at the bottom.  Perhaps it would have been best to just put them both on at the same time?

    I may be wrong though and my orthodontist says sometimes it all falls into place at the end.  I hope so as I am ready to have my mouth back please.  Get this thing off me!

    I will be patient though and will wait until everything is as perfect as can be.  There’s no point in spending all this time and money to rush the brace off and not be 100% happy with the outcome.

    Since my 11th appointment I haven’t noticed a huge difference.  I can’t tell any difference at the top at all, though a couple of friends and family have remarked how good my teeth are looking, so maybe they have changed.  They definitely look perfectly aligned, but I think because there are so many gaps to the front around my peg tooth and next to the false tooth, I can’t see past these.

    Here’s what’s going on:

    Braces at 30 My 12th tightening appointment update 18 months before and af


    My silly overbite is still 5.5mm, even though I made sure I was wearing those annoying top to bottom elastics most of the time.  Luckily I don’t have to wear them at the moment as I have gone back a wire on the bottom teeth for now.  So we’ll probably come back to this overbite once I have the thick steel on again.

    Gaps for false tooth and veneer

    The peg tooth and its gaps are 8mm and these need to be 6mm.  The false tooth gap is fine.  I now have a very long elastic across all of the top brace to bring them altogether and close this 2mm.  Then, as far as I know this is everything at the top aside from the overbite.

    Gaps at bottom

    I’d noticed there was still a gap in the middle of my bottom front teeth.  The teeth had closed at the very top, but were on a slant so there was quite a sizeable space which I could fit a large interdental brush between.  My orthodontist said it could either be the teeth have gone together slightly slanted and not perfectly upright, or the edges of the teeth aren’t straight.  She thinks they have gone together at an angle, like a triangle, so just the top bits have met.  We’ve gone back a step with the wire and she changed it to the last wire to move the teeth into a better position.  Hopefully this will bring them more upright and then we can close this gap for good!  It means the rest of the gaps at the bottom will have to wait for now.

    Next steps

    Closing gaps and improving overbite seems to be everything there is left to do.  I also need to ask my dentist at what point he’ll do the veneer and bridge.  Some like the retainer to be on for a while first, whereas some might do it sooner.  I’ll see what he has to say, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later or we could be heading over three years before I get the finished result.

    My 18th month brace timeline

    It’s quite disgusting looking so close at my mouth!  But I loved looking at other people’s photos when I was researching whether to have a brace, so I’ve decided to share mine.  It’s also quite amazing to see the progress.  At this stage, when very little seems to be happening, it’s easy to forget just how awful my teeth were and how they upset me every day.  Seeing this difference makes it all worthwhile and reminds me to be patient!

    Braces Timeline Before and After My 12th tightening appointment update 18 m



  3. I was really shocked to receive an email to my inbox this week with an alarming report discovering children’s school fruit snacks contain residues of up to 123 pesticides!  Isn’t this disgusting?  At home we always buy organic if the option is available as I just don’t trust consuming chemicals.  It’s surely common sense that eating unnatural food is no good for us, especially stuff made in laboratories that would never even be found naturally.  I don’t think we even understand half the dangers of chemical pesticides and in years to come people will think we were crazy for covering our food supply in them!

    Personally I’d much rather pay a little extra and invest in my health and the environment.  I don’t understand why anyone would consume chemicals by choice.  I bet if we saw the bottles of chemicals farmers used we wouldn’t drink them.  I also bet if supermarkets had to list the chemicals used on each fruit on the labels, sales for organic fruit and veg would skyrocket!

    Residues of 123 pesticides found in children’s school fruit! Yuck!

    Read Why I Prefer Organic Food to see more of my opinion on choosing organic.

    According to the article only an extra 1p per child per day would mean they can have organic fruit instead.  This is definitely something that I think should be enforced.  Or perhaps we just supply them with fruit for home?  I’d quite happily give my daughter a piece of fresh organic fruit each day to take in.

    It is a tricky one.  Do I give her a piece of fruit to take in anyway, or let her carry on having the school fruit so she has the same as her peers?

    At least it’s only one piece of fruit a day and I know at home she gets mostly organic, plus a wholefood no refined sugar diet.  I can’t shelter her forever from bad food and she does eat ‘normal’ food at other’s homes, parties and when eating out.  I still feel guilty though as I’m allowing her to have this piece of chemical filled fruit at school which could be damaging to her health.

    Mum guilt is rife here where I choose to eat things because I believe they are healthier and it’s better for the environment, yet I let my children eat other things.  I just hope I can equip them with the knowledge they need to make their own choices once they are old enough to understand it all.

    Are you as shocked at this discovery as me?  Would you prefer to send in your own snack to school?  Let me know in the comments.

    Related articles:
    3 important reasons to choose organic (other than your health)
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    Getting the Kids to Eat Healthier
    Physical education is no longer physical!

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    Residues of 123 pesticides found in children’s school fruit! Yuck!