Life is Peachy – Beachy Walks & House Drama

Welcome to a little round-up of everything we’ve been up to recently! It dawned on me over my blogging break at Christmas that the reason I started my blog was to keep a diary of our lives. I wanted it to be a space to capture my thoughts, memories and something to look back on over time. However, I seem to have drifted from this, writing about everything from parenting, food and travel – but forgetting the nitty gritty of our lives, which will be the bits I’d want to look back on the most! So, this post is introducing a new ‘Life is Peachy’ series, which you’ll be seeing lots more of on the blog as I’m aiming to write them fortnightly, so I hope you’ll enjoy!

ROBBIE’S NEW FRIEND

January started off slowly, we ate our way through the leftover Christmas food and hibernated from the bad weather. One thing I love about where we live is that we are so close to the sea, so even on the chilly days we wrapped up warm for a blustery walk along the seafront, which really helped to clear those cobwebs! Our friend joined us for a walk with his ‘adopted’ dog and Robbie’s new best friend, Toby. A gorgeous chocolate lab who is bouncy and full of energy as he’s much younger than Robbie who couldn’t keep up with him at all. Bless him. They had such a lovely time playing together so hopefully they’ll be having lots more walkies together soon!

THE SICK BUG

I think just about everyone I know is ill at the moment. There is so much going around. We were bound to catch something sooner rather than later. Violet lovingly brought back a sickness bug from a baby group. She was ill on the Wednesday and by the Thursday I was poorly – just as I thought V was home from work ready to ‘look after me’ – she was poorly too! Plus, she was worst affected that evening and all of Friday. It was a horrible, horrible week I don’t wish to relive any time soon! I really learned that when you are sick and you have a baby, you just have to get on with things, you can’t feel sorry for yourself for a moment. It was tough.

HOUSE DRAMA

Buying a house is such a rollercoaster isn’t it? I won’t bore you with all the details (as honestly, I could talk the hind legs off a donkey about this, but I won’t). We have really been through the mill this month as we put an offer in on a house quite close to where are living now which was a ‘project’ to say the least. Desperate for more space, we went for it knowing a lot of work would be required but with so much potential, we stuck with it. Anyway, cut a long story short – the survey came back and it was a disaster, the place needs just knocking down. When you see words like ‘wood boring beetle infestation’, ‘asbestos’, ‘damp’ and ‘a hole in the roof’ you know it’s time to pull out of the sale. We got a quote from a builder to fix all the issues which came out at £100,000! Obviously we just aren’t in a position to do all of that so we pulled out. I was so sad, I felt emotionally invested in the house, I let my mind run away with me, thinking of where I’d put furniture, which room would be ours, which would be Violets etc. Plus, we lost a fair amount of money in the process too, but it was not meant to be.

Roll on two weeks later when a Rightmove alert pops up for a BEAUTIFUL house in our village, it has everything we wanted and ticks every box. When we went for the viewing I think I fell a bit in love, I think it’s the one. I thanked my lucky stars we didn’t buy the building site house! Everything happens for a reason. Anyway, it’s early days in our journey to get our ‘dream’ house – but hopefully we will be able to secure it. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

NEW WHEELS

We’ve been busy out and about this month with our brand new travel system, which is the Ickle Bubba Stomp v4 which is my first review for the Netmums Star Reviewers Panel. It feels so stylish and chic, I’ve loved putting it through it’s paces and we’ve decided to swap full time to this one as Violet loves it so much too. I filmed a full video review of it so watch out for that in the next couple of weeks on the Netmums Youtube channel!  I really enjoyed filming again and wondered if I should do more Youtube videos. Possibly.

So, thats all our news for now. Hopefully we’ll have some more house news for the next instalment, we shall see! 

 

 

 

WIN: Nest Protect Alarm worth £109

Ok, this is a slightly different post from me today. It’s not everyday that I write about the risk of carbon monoxide in the home (thank goodness, not sure how many of you would be here if I did 🙂 ) but it’s actually a really important thing to talk about so please stick with me.

We have recently fitted alarms throughout our home and had our chimney swept in preparation for winter and it’s made me realise how much more vigilant I am about testing smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, now we have Violet with us. Knowing it’s a silent killer is one scary prospect but there are ways to protect yourself and your family. Did you know it’s actually your pets that can show the signs of carbon monoxide before humans do?

 

Before we had Violet, I’m not sure I would have been able to tell you what the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are. So, if you are not sure, here is what you need to know:

 

 

If there was a carbon monoxide (CO) leak in your home… would you know what to do? Worryingly, recent research has uncovered that 43% of the UK wouldn’t know what to do, and more than a third of UK homes still don’t have a CO alarm fitted.

So, this giveaway is here to lend a hand as I am giving away a super modern Nest Protect Alarm (worth £109) which detects smoke and Carbon Monoxide in your home. It gives a vocal alarm which makes it really clear (things like ‘THERE IS SMOKE IN YOUR KITCHEN!’) it also links to your phone and smart home, so it’s a true superhero product you need in your home today.

To enter just fill out the below:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

Giveaway open to UK Residents only.

For more info about Carbon Monoxide:

12 Cleaning Tips for a clean home

So, firstly I should start with a disclaimer, this post is NOT sponsored or affiliated with Method, I’m just a real sucker for a blogger trend. Can you even call yourself a blogger if you haven’t watched 20 speed cleaning videos on Youtube or bought a bottle of the Method Anti-bac spray? Probably not. I’m also laughing at myself as I used to sucked in by blogger trends to buy the latest eyeshadow palette or overpriced scented candle, now I’m hooked on the latest cleaning product trend – how life changes. Anyway, this post was off to a slightly rambly start, I actually wanted to talk about cleaning. I’ll admit – I am obsessive about cleaning. I love a clean home and if things are out of place I feel uncomfortable and unsettled until it’s sorted. I also really enjoy cleaning once I get into it, I think it’s the feeling of satisfaction that everything is sparkling, fresh and clean that makes me enjoy it, rather than the actual ‘doing’.

But, I have to mention on the flip-side of this I have a busy lifestyle – with a young baby, a hairy dog, my blog, freelance work, not to mention family and social time – it’s hard to get it all done! Our home is often much less than perfect (much to my sadness!) so I’ve had to find a middle ground with it all and accept sometimes things aren’t perfect, but just to the best I can, in the time I have.

So how do I do it? Here are a few tips for keeping the home clean, when time is limited or if you downright hate cleaning and don’t fancy doing it very often… hope they help!

Little and Often

With cleaning, I don’t tend to spend hours on it as I clean a little bit every day. Every morning I do at least 30 minutes, which seems to cover most areas and means I keep on top of everything -rather than leaving it all to do in one go which can seem like a really daunting task. I give the house a deeper clean around once a week too where I’ll spend more time and go into more detail in each room.

Clean as you go

Try to clean up as you go along. Violet has just started weaning which is SO MESSY – I tend to try and wipe up any big spills at the time, even if she’s still eating to keep on top of everything, then the cleanup isn’t so bad at the end. This is the same concept with cooking, wash pots and pans whilst eating and clear up before you eat your meal. This one I’m actually pretty bad at when I’m cooking but I’m trying!

Cleaning Challenge

Sometimes if I’m tired and not feeling like cleaning I’ll do a ’10 minute speed challenge’ – if you aren’t sure about these, put that into the search bar on Youtube and you’ll find hundreds of videos (they are strangely fascinating to watch!) I put on some upbeat music and set my phone timer for 10 minutes, I then challenge myself to see how much I can get done in that ten minutes. I swear after doing this for a couple of months now I can get so much more done in the time than before! Plus, what is ten minutes in the whole day? It’s hardly any time really (I bet most people spend longer on social media) but it makes such a difference!

Make the Beds

If you have to do one thing in the morning – make your bed and open the curtains. This makes such a difference to a room and makes things look so much neater.

Clear the Surfaces

This is similar to making the beds – if you have limited time, just make sure the surfaces on your house are clear of clutter, including the washing up, drying board and any surfaces you can see. This immediately opens up a room, even if the cupboards inside are busting at the seams, you can tackle them later!

Time Saving Products  and sprays

I find if I’ve got brand new, shiny cleaning products or handy gadgets I enjoy cleaning so much more. I recently tweeted about these awesome microfibre slippers   (and had SO MANY REPLIES… everyone loves them!) which are so handy for picking up dog hair on the go and cleaning the floors, I’ve also been running my toe along the skirting boards as I pass, they’ve never looked so clean! Other things include, lovely smelling products like the Method Range, scented candles or my favourite – Yankee Candle Wax Tarts to freshen a room, or time saving gadgets like this mop with built in spray. I really really want a Cordless Hoover too, but we’ll have to save our pennies for that one as the one I have my eye on is not cheap!

Declutter – Mari Kondo folding

I read the book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying‘ and it really changed the way I store things. I’m not amazing at decluttering yet (no one is perfect!) but I’ve really mastered the way of folding clothes into little squares to save space in drawers and cupboards. I highly recommend learning that technique, especially for baby clothes, it saves us so much space in Violet’s room and keeps her drawers really neat.

Sort everything before bed

I always go to bed with the house tidy, I make sure all washing up is done, all laundry is hanging on the rack and the living room is tidy with cushions plumped and ready for the next day. It’s so horrible waking up to a mess, so I do the last bits of tidying up at night once everyone is in bed to ensure we start with afresh with a clean house the following day.

If it takes 2 minutes – do it now

During the day, if I see a task that needs doing I think in my mind ‘Will this take less than 2 minutes?’ if so, I do it there and then rather than leaving everything to build up.

Sort stuff out every 6 months

I try to go through our stuff and get rid of anything I haven’t worn/used for 6 months – this includes clothes, beauty/skincare products and just anything thats been laying around. If I’d forgotten about it, I clearly don’t need it. Our cupboards are still busting at the seams even though we do this, but I guess thats the life of a blogger I guess! I do try and give away or sell as much as possible though, especially Violet’s stuff, she’s grown out of so much already so we’ve been sending bags of baby clothes to charity or to friends. I’ve kept the special baby clothes and stored them away in space bags which are really good for shrinking everything down and saving loads of room in cupboards or under the bed.

Get into a routine – daily/weekly/monthly jobs

I find getting up and doing my cleaning routine is second nature now, especially as I’m off on maternity leave so as soon as Violet has her morning nap I’ll get on with the cleaning before I get up and dressed myself. That means I start the day feeling like everything is in order. Now I have a routine with jobs I feel like I cover everything that needs doing around the house either daily, weekly or monthly. If you aren’t great at remembering what needs doing or creating a routine, there are some good cleaning schedules that are free to print out – Pinterest is full of great ideas like that.

Make it fun!

This is the most important tip – if you find cleaning a chore then make it fun! Put on music, challenge yourself to a speed clean, reward yourself in chocolate biscuits – do whatever it is that means you’ll get it done and feel pleased with yourself when the cleaning is over. And just remember when it’s done, you can put your feet up and enjoy the clean space too, so make sure you enjoy your hard work and efforts to the maximum too.

 

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Giveaway! Win a Children’s Bed worth £150!

It’s been a while since I hosted a giveaway on the blog, hasn’t it? So, when Lakeland Furniture got in touch and asked if I’d like to give away one of their gorgeous wooden childrens beds, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity! Having just decorated Violet’s nursery I’ve enjoyed picking out furniture for her and picturing her playing in her perfect little space, so I hope that you’ll enjoy planning your child’s bedroom just as much! I am absolutely in love with the Cordoba Day Bed – if she was big enough, that would be my choice, hands down!  Which one would you chose?

To enter to win a wooden children’s bed of your choice, simply complete the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

Post in collaboration with Lakeland Furniture.

Open to UK entrants only –  Lakeland Furniture to supply prize to winner

Home Decor: Take a peek in our new Bathroom!

To many, our bathroom might just look like an average room but if you’d have seen it when we moved in, you wouldn’t believe it’s the same house! We have lived in our house for two years now and it’s only now we have managed to get the bathroom totally finished – getting major renovations certainly isn’t cheap, so it’s been slow progress, but it’s been totally worth it. Firstly, before you see too many of the finished project, take a look at my bathroom renovation posts to see how far we have come months ago – I blogged about living in a building site (where you can actually see we had walls being ripped down and no running water for SO LONG) and then I posted an update when we had the floor put in, but I hadn’t actually blogged about the finished look – with all the little extras that make it finally ours.

So, talking about the decor, the reason it’s taken us so long to complete is that we have been back and forth with it, quite a few times. We decided we wanted to go for a Victorian theme, but with a green colour scheme. We went all over the place looking for green tiles but just couldn’t find the shade we really wanted, so we bought some green paint instead. However, this turned into a disaster – I can safely say when you get paint mixed from those little colour swatch cards, BE CAREFUL or get a tester pot first – we ordered what we thought was a lovely muted light green but as we got painting, we soon realised we were painting the calls a rather vibrant shade of lime green! It just didn’t look right at all, lime green isn’t the tranquil, peaceful bathroom colour we hoped for, it was more like a child’s bedroom or a Mexican Restaurant! So, before the painting was even finished we decided to take it all down, rushing off to the nearest B&Q to buy the biggest tin of just plain white paint, to start again from scratch. It turns out when painting a bathroom, just keeping it to white (or a neutral colour) is a good idea – you can add pops of colour through the decor, towels and ornaments you choose. PHEW! What a palava.

So, onto my favourite element of the bathroom – the floor! We chose a traditional victorian checkerboard, which not only looks gorgeous, but we got underfloor heating so it’s lovely and toasty warm too! It’s got to be my favourite part of the room.

Onto our green theme! So after the paint/tile disaster we were so pleased to find these beautiful Super Hygro towels from Christy in the shade ‘Green Tea’ which colour wise, which worked so much better to give us that pop of vibrant green, than any paint or tiles we could have chosen. They are such lovely towels too – thick, fluffy, warm and luxurious – I don’t think I’ve ever owned such gorgeous towels. Christy also offer the option to get our names embroidered on too, which is just such a lovely touch (although usually I mark my own towels with copious amounts of mascara smudges, ha!). As well as a matching towel bundle, we picked up the bathmat and two face cloths too, so we have the complete matching set now, which definitely gives a sleek look, compared to our mismatched collection of random towels we used to have!

I then finished off the bathroom with relaxing scented candles, like this one from The Body Shop that smells amazing (even when it’s not burning) and some plants for some more greenery and positive energy.

Of course, I couldn’t do a complete tour without mentioning a few favourite products too (it’s the old school beauty blogger in me coming out!) So, firstly, hair products – I’m currently LOVING the Paul Mitchell KerActive in Forever Blonde. Just before Christmas I attended a lovely event run by Salon Success, who gave me this set as a little Christmas gift, it was super thoughtful as they matched the gifts to our hair colours/types. I haven’t had my hair coloured in ages, so using this is keeping my blonde lovely and bright, without making it too frizzy (as I often find brightening goes hand in hand with drying but this isn’t the case at all). If you fancy a look at the Salon Success bloggers evening, Aine wrote this post – it was fab!

Onto a few of my favourite pampering products – Of course at this time of year I always have a big bottle of Lush Snow Fairy to work my way through, that has been tradition for many years now and doesn’t get boring! My other favourite Christmas/Winter scent this year has been the Vanilla Chai range from The Body Shop – it smells just divine, I have both the bath bubbles and body butter – yum! I’ve been working my way through my collection of the Superfood Face masks and now the weather is a little colder, the Ethiopian Honey Deep Moisturising Mask is suiting my dry/dull skin just perfectly. Lastly, for an all over scrub from top-to-toe the Brazilian Cupuaçu Scrub-In-Oil is one of the best body scrubs I’ve used in a LONG TIME, it leaves my skin so silky soft and nourished by the oil, however a word of warning to pregnant ladies (and anyone else really!) it makes the bathtub SUPER SLIPPERY so don’t fall over in the oil…………!

So, that was a little whizz around our new bathroom. I absolutely love it now we’ve finally got it to where we want it to be, it’s like my little sanctuary – I live in there at the moment, with a good book, cup of tea and a hot bath I can easily while away the hours, it’s my happy place and my calm zone. Worth the wait!