7 Simple Ways to Give your Bathroom a Refresh

From long relaxing soaks in the bath to quick showers, the bathroom is a space that we use several times on a daily basis, so it’s not surprising if yours is looking more drab than fab. Luckily, there are many ways to give your bathroom a refresh without spending too much money, and that won’t take up too much of your time either. These simple styling tips and tricks from BigBathroomShop.co.uk will transform your bathroom and create a fresh new look in an instant.

New towels and accessories

Stylish new towels and accessories provide a quick and easy way to makeover your bathroom, and a bold colour choice or design adds extra character to the space. If your bathroom is mostly white, towels in a bright colour or eye-catching pattern will give the room a much needed lift, and it’s surprising how something so simple can transform the look and feel of the space with minimal effort.
Towels, bath mats and accessories in natural colours are perfect for adding a spa-style touch. Continue this theme with luxurious candles and toiletries. Or why not create a chic and sophisticated look with grey towels and accessories? If you’re stuck for bathroom ideas, then just take a look at Pinterest and you’ll soon be inspired.

Fit an eye-catching mirror
A drab mirror can really let your bathroom down in the style stakes, but the good news is that there’s an array of eye-catching designs available that will update the space in no time at all. Round mirrors are so on-trend right now, and they provide an alternative to the usual square or rectangular shapes that most people tend to go for. A round mirror with a decorative frame will give your bathroom a stunning focal point. You could even fit two different sized mirrors next to each other, but on an angle for something unexpected.
If you are on a limited budget and want something unusual or quirky, shop around for second-hand mirrors. You never know what you might find!


Change the taps
So you may need a little DIY experience for this one, but fitting new taps is a great way to smarten up the look of your bathroom. If you don’t have any basic plumbing skills, make sure to call in a professional to fit the taps for you.
Taps are available in a wide range of styles including modern and traditional to suit any bathroom. For a classic and timeless look, opt for cross-head taps, or for something more chic and contemporary, waterfall taps are just perfect. Consider the finish too, chrome is the most popular as it blends in easily with any décor, but if you want your taps to stand out from the crowd, go for a white or black finish.

Add a boutique hotel touch
Another quick and simple way to refresh your bathroom is to add a boutique hotel touch by displaying chic accessories, pretty toiletries, perfume and some flowers on a wooden or metallic tray. To ramp up the five-star appeal, place cotton wool balls and decorative soaps into attractive glass jars.

Introduce colour
Perk up a plain white bathroom in a flash by introducing an accent colour. Start with a set of eye-catching towels and extend this colour theme by painting part of the bathroom in a complementary colour. Don’t be scared of using colour in the bathroom, it’s a great way to brighten the space up, and if you have young children, they will love a bright and cheerful colour scheme.

A touch of greenery
A couple of plants dotted around the bathroom has got to be one of the easiest ways to freshen up the space. The bathroom is the perfect home for a variety of houseplants, but you will need to choose ones that thrive in a humid environment. Peace lily, ivy and fern will add a splash of greenery, while orchids create an upmarket look.

Hang some artwork
Bring life into your bathroom with some cool and quirky pieces of artwork. Also great for adding a personal touch, artwork can help your bathroom flow with the rest of your home. Hang one statement piece or create a display with smaller pictures.

 

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Water babies Underwater Photoshoot (+ our photos revealed!)

Last week a very exciting parcel arrived through the door –  inside was an intriguing little box with a USB stick shaped as an Otter with a camera. Plugging our little otter into my laptop the images from our Water Babies Underwater Photoshoot flashed up onto the screen – the images I’d eagerly been awaiting since our shoot a few weeks ago!

As you’ll know we all really enjoyed Water babies Chapter 1 and the big finale to our first term was the underwater photoshoot. As Violet was a bit unsettled with underwater swimming at first, I didn’t know if she was going to want to do the photoshoot (and if she didn’t I wouldn’t have pushed her) but throughout the term we worked on getting her used to the underwater swims, so when the big day finally came she was able to take it all in her stride. She didn’t cry or grizzle at all – in fact she was so intrigued by her new surroundings and all the photography equipment!

The underwater swim is just like an extra lesson of Water Babies, you sing the same songs and do the same activities as a lesson so it feels really familiar to the little ones. Then each baby goes up for their photos. Each ‘dunk’ seemed longer than I was used to but I think whenever your little one goes under the water you feel on edge, it’s only natural! We also had the chance to have a photo together which I thought was a lovely touch!

Here is a little video of us having our snaps taken:

And here they are…..

Overall, we were quite pleased with our photos although I do think they aren’t the very best angles but seeing as Violet really didn’t take to swimming underwater I think she did really well, plus babies always look a bit different having their picture taken under the water.

I know in our Water Babies class some of the parents were in two minds about the under water shoot, but I’d recommend going along and having a go! There is no pressure to buy the photos, so there is no harm in trying it and seeing if you like the photos later on. Water babies sell all kinds of gifts with the photos on, but we just stuck to digital prints, I think I’ll save the underwater baby snow globe for another day! 🙂

Making a start with weaning

Violet is now on the cusp of 6 months so we’ve decided it’s time to start the weaning process onto solid foods and honestly I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been really looking forward to this stage in her development as it’s been so fun to try new foods with her and watch her reactions. She seems so grown up sitting at her highchair and eating proper foods now – where did my newborn go? As I’m really enjoying this stage, I thought I’d write a little post about our preparation to wean and what we’ve been up to so far as I wanted to document our journey all the way – plus if you are thinking about weaning maybe you’ll find this helpful too!

PREPARING TO WEAN

One of the fun parts to weaning has got to be getting everything prepared – you need so many new things, from a highchair to bowls, cups, spoons, bibs, the list goes on! Being self-confessed baby product addict I’ve loved shopping about for a few bits, they don’t have to be expensive either, don’t worry.

Here are a few bits from our kit so far:

HIGHCHAIR: I knew before Violet was even born which highchair I’d be wanting to get…. and we got it! You guessed it, it’s the BEAUTIFUL Magical Unicorns Noodle Supa from one of my favourite baby brands, Cosatto. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s so comfy looking too, Violet loves sitting in her chair and will happily play with toys on the tray as I prepare her food. Did I also mention, it has a pink glittery tray? Honestly, this highchair is everything and more! I want one in my size. I’m so over the moon with it I’ll be doing a full review on it in the next few weeks, so do look out for that one.

BOWLS: We’ve got two different bowls, the first are the Munchkin White Hot Bowls, which are really handy if you are serving warm food as the heat strip down the middle will turn white if the food is too hot for your baby. If I’m serving Violet porridge or warmed vegetable puree this is really reassuring that it’s the right temperature for her. The other bowl we use a lot is the Oxo Tot Divided Plate if I’m giving Violet different fruit or veg to keep all the bits in their own section. It has a removable ring to keep the food on the plate even if tipped slightly which can be taken off later down the line when she masters self-feeding.

SPOONS: Violet seems to have really taken to using a spoon and even tries to feed herself already! We love the Oxo Tot Feeding Spoons as the handles are nice and easy to hold (for us both!) and the spoon soft silicone, perfect for little mouths, she likes to chew on the it as a teether too!

BIBS: We’ve only been weaning a few weeks and I’ve already learned a LOT about bibs. I didn’t realise there was so much to think about with this. At first we tried just a couple of plastic bibs from Asda (the ones with the pocket at the bottom). These didn’t work for us as Violet hated the hard plastic around her neck and the food would just go between the gap of the bib and the highchair tray. Fail. We’ve had a little more luck with the Roll Up Bib as the top part is fabric so comfier around the neck, however the real star of the show is the Ikea ‘Kladdig’ bib which is like a full little jacket they can wear – it catches everything and totally protects all of her clothes, a real winner for us!

SIPPY CUP: Like all of her bottles, we’ve stuck with MAM, I love the MAM range the designs are so pretty. The Starter Cup is 4 months+ and is great for her to practice holding as you can tip it without any spills! She’s getting the hang of it but will occasionally try and drink from the bottom 🙂

POTS/STORAGE: As soon as we started to wean I realised we needed lots of pots and things to store puree in as she only ate a little bit at a time. This Baby Food Freezer Tray has been a lifesaver as you can freeze food in individual portions, meaning we could keep it for longer and there wasn’t as much waste! I have a post coming up about making/storing puree where I’ll talk about this in more detail, so keep an eye out for that.

BABY LED OR PUREE FEEDING?

This is the bit that really surprised me, before I started weaning I was firmly in the ‘Baby Led Weaning’ camp. For those that aren’t sure, Baby Led Weaning is where you offer your baby hand-held foods they can feed themselves and the other route of weaning is where you give mashed or pureed baby food (the traditional method). I’d been on a Baby Led course as was determined to go down this route as I thought this would be best for Violet, on the course they talked about their development and how they experience new tastes and I was sold. However – as soon as Violet started weaning I realised it wasn’t actually best for her at all, she didn’t really take to it as she doesn’t know what to do with big lumps of food, she’ll just spit them out – plus it’s so scary it is to give them actual pieces of food so early. They have absolutely no idea what to do with it and it just disappears into their mouths, only for them to gag on it and spit it out minutes later. It really wasn’t working for us, so now we are doing a mix of baby led and traditional.

I mainly give Violet puree now, but I do offer her pieces of food too, like watermelon or banana to build up those skills and explore how to eat. I like this approach as she’s learning different tastes with purees (as she can actually eat them rather than just spit the bits out) and to hold food with finger foods too. Violet actually really loves purees and gets excited when she see’s me getting her bowls out so she seems happy with this mix of the two. As she builds up her skills I’ll move on from purees onto more finger foods and be guided by Violet as to how she’d like to do it.

I joined a few ‘Baby Led Weaning’ groups and feel sad there is a stigma around purees, one lady even said to me ‘if you’ve given your baby even a spoonful of puree you can’t be in our group as thats not proper baby led weaning’ – honestly, it’s like the whole breast/bottle debate all over again. This time I’m not taking any stick from others, I’m just doing my own thing, following my instinct and will be guided by what Violet enjoys (surely thats more ‘baby led’ isn’t it??!). Anyway – moving on!

FOODS SO FAR

The easiest way to experiment with different tastes has been to use ready-made pouches. They are really quick and easy and Violet loves them. As we get into more of a routine and figure out her likes/dislikes I’ll start to make some puree’s from scratch but this has been a great starting point. We have tried various brands – but the resounding favourite every time is always Piccolo! She just can’t get enough of their flavours, especially the Banana and Coconut Baby Rice, she could eat that every day without fail. I have been trying everything I’ve given her (well, I wouldn’t expect her to eat something I wouldn’t eat myself!) and I have to say the Piccolo pouches most definitely have a little more flavour than others which can be quite bland.

We have also kindly been sent these pouches from Babease to try – so far so good with these too, although she did take a while to get used to a couple of the flavours. I tried them and they were quite ‘grown up’ flavours – We will keep going with these ones as I like how different they are which will expand her palette to new tastes.

As for actual food – she’s enjoyed pieces of fruit as finger foods, banana (although it’s difficult to hold), strawberries (the MESS!), watermelon, peach. She also loves rusks which I know are a bit controversial, but I was brought up as a rusk baby and turned out ok! Lastly, she’s developed a bit of a love for ice cream – we didn’t give her this intentionally, don’t worry. She actually swiped a magnum out of my hand and jammed it into her mouth before I could say a word. It was clear from the smile and the ring of chocolate round her mouth she was a fan! Oops, wonder where she gets that from!

So, thats our weaning journey so far. I’m pleased with our progress so far, we seem to be getting into a lovely little routine and Violet is getting used to some new tastes and I can see she really enjoys eating too. My next stages are to get my Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender into action (it only arrived yesterday) and make some puree’s at home. I’ll let you know how we got on with that!

 

I’d love to hear your stories about weaning your little ones or some tips, so please leave your tales in the comments below! 

 

Post contains PR samples – all words and opinions are my own

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Review: Lunch at Bill’s Brighton

Living in Brighton, I’m not sure I know of one person that doesn’t love Bill’s. Being a local brand it just feels part of our city and our Brightonian culture. There is something special about the atmosphere, there is always such a buzz, the food is delicious and it’s a friendly meeting point for many, at any time of the day. Although Bill’s is nationwide now, it actually started close to home just up the road in Lewes, with the Brighton restaurant the first to open after the success in Lewes, so they always seem to me like a small local business.

A couple of week’s ago Bill’s Brighton had a complete redesign – adding a touch more glamour to venue (which was before Bill’s a bus depot!) they now offer 50 more seats, launched a brand new Summer Menu and the best part, a sundowners cocktail menu (which looks amazing!). They had a glitzy relaunch party which I was invited to but evenings aren’t so easy with a little one, so I watched the fun from afar (good old Instastories!) Quite a shame, as I quite fancied a sundowner or two! Instead, I popped into Bill’s for a leisurely lunch, which was much more Violet-appropriate.

The new redesign certainly makes the inside of the venue feel bigger, I love the new decor too – They seem to have found the perfect balance of homely and friendly with a touch of glam. It’s easy to see how the venue can be transformed from a brunch spot to a cocktail bar as the day goes on.  The above snap was a rare quiet moment when we arrived, however within minutes there were people jostling for seats and the background buzz of chatter ramped up a notch or two. There is an extended mezzanine area for dining too, so there is a huge amount of seating now as Bill’s does tend to fill up quickly. Getting in and out with a pushchair wasn’t easy, the mix of dining room chairs and plush armchairs meant it’s a bit of a maze, but during the day most people in there were families, so I think everyone just ‘gets it’ and were more than happy to help me squeeze by.

I met up with my friend Andrea for a catch-up over a Bill’s Pink Lemonade and to see what the new menu is all about, and of course so she could get some Violet cuddles in too.

I haven’t been to Bill’s in a while, but the first thing I noticed is how extensive the menu has become (I swear there wasn’t that much choice before -or is it because I always used to get a fish finger sandwich?). It took me quite a while to decide on what I wanted, I was tempted by options such as the macaroni cheese, halloumi burger, plus of course I was thrilled to see they had the fish finger sandwich still in place – but feeling summery and tempted by a colourful selection of baby kale, pomegranate, asparagus and  watermelon – I went for the Bills Summer Salad with a side of Sweet Potato fries (oh come on, I wasn’t going to be THAT healthy) – all washed down with a classic the Bill’s Pink Lemonade, which is the perfect summer drink, served over ice and strawberries.

Andrea went of the Golden Fried Sesame Pork Dumplings with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce, followed by the Chicken Caesar Salad, which although I don’t eat chicken looked particularly tasty and the chicken chargrilled to absolute perfection.

Sadly, Andrea had to get back to work after her main course, so missed out on the epic pudding menu! Violet had been a nightmare that morning, I’d pushed her all around town trying to get her to drop off to sleep before our lunch as I knew she’d just be overtired, however she didn’t finally give in to a good sleep right to the last minute, so I decided to make the most of it and ordered another Bill’s Pink Lemonade and a Raspberry and Peach Crumble (with Salted Caramel sauce!) to myself, so I sat enjoying the moment of sheer indulgence and peace and quite on my own! It was absolute bliss!

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch date at Bill’s Brighton and sampling the new menu. I loved the new decor inside, it’s quirky, electric and chic with that buzzy feeling Bill’s always has. The perfect place for anything from brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or cocktails – Bill’s is open from ‘breakfast to bedtime’ and covers all bases under one roof!

Thanks for letting us visit and try out the new menu – I’ll be back soon no doubt to try out the rest of my favourite dishes! 

I was offered a complimentary meal at Bill’s Brighton in return for an open and honest review – all words and opinions are my own

Shade of the Season: Duck Egg Blue

It can be tricky to stay up-to-date with those ever-changing interior trends, and what’s more, it can also be very expensive. It’s not practical to redecorate every season with new paint and wallpaper, plus most of us don’t have the time or energy, and new furniture can be costly. However, having said that, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on having a stylish, on-trend home like those you see displayed in glossy magazines. There are plenty of savvy ways to introduce this season’s ‘it’ colour, without living your weekends at the mercy of a paintbrush, and most of all, without breaking the bank.

Without a doubt, this season’s ‘it’ colour is a very calming, subtle shade of duck egg blue. It’s all over our Instagram and Pinterest boards, and it’s certainly a desirable shade for most people’s homes. So here are a few ways for you to introduce this subtle hue into your interiors, and remember, these tips and tricks will work whatever the colour, so bear them in mind for next season.

Furniture is perhaps the most expensive way of introducing a new colour to your interior scheme, however smaller pieces, like this duck egg blue snuggler chair by Arlo & Jacob are incredibly versatile. The compact size means you can have it in living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and conservatories. It’s a comfortable piece that’ll last for years to come, and thankfully, this gorgeous duck-egg blue is so subtle, you’ll be able to pair it with other feature colours without it looking over the top. Remember, you can always opt to get good quality furniture reupholstered later down the line if you become bored with the fabric.

Pre-made curtains are a thrifty way of introducing a block of new colour to your interiors. When you buy ready made, as opposed to custom curtains, you’ll undoubtedly save more than a few pennies, which is especially useful if you’re the sort of person who likes to introduce new colours at the turn of every season. These duck-egg curtains by Dunelm display this colour perfectly, and as an added bonus, they’re blackout too, so they’re ideal for bedrooms.

Colourful lamps and lamp shades can start from just a few pounds, so they’re a useful tool for quick and cheap colour updates to your home. You can match both a table lamp shade and ceiling lamp shade for a more traditional look, or choose different styles for a more contemporary, edgy interior. Feature lighting, like this Osaka pale blue pendant shade would be ideal for hanging over a kitchen table, whereas this standing Task lamp by Wayfair is ideal for living rooms, hallways and studies.

 

 

 

 

Soft furnishings like pillows, throws, blankets, and rugs all provide an instant update to a colour scheme. There’s always a multitude on offer, and it’s worth doing some research to find the best on the market at an affordable price. A rug, like this one from The Rugs Warehouse, is the perfect accessory for bringing this seasons shade into your interiors. This one also has a pretty geometric pattern which nails two of 2017’s trends in one. For cushions, this Linear Stem Cushion in duck egg blue by Orla Keila is contemporary and stylish, and we think it’ll go perfectly with this Oxford striped offering from Susie Watson Designs.

Lastly, posters and prints will add a splash of colour to your walls without you having to so much as glance at a paint roller. If you’re into your arts and crafts, you could always opt to create your own masterpiece, using sites like Pinterest for inspiration.

Have fun playing around with affordable accessories and introducing seasonal and trending colours into your homes.

 

 

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