It won’t be long till spring is here and all the pretty flowers start to pop up from the ground. We can all start to relax a little bit as the weather warms up. However, this change in the weather is the perfect time to see to your home and carry out any maintenance that may need doing after the winter. Not sure which jobs you need to do now that winter is drawing to an end? .

Revamp the outside from the inside!

I love a bit of a revamp for spring. Perhaps things about how to bring pastels into your home. I  have been thinking about getting some made to measure curtains at the moment and how they give a nice warm feel to homes. Some blue pastel would make your home exterior look nice and bright. Or if you have blinds then think about a light varnish or a fresh lick of paint.

 

 

Clear Your Garden

There won’t be many plants and flowers that will have survived in your garden over winter. All of the ones that were blooming through summer and autumn will have probably died so you will need to dig up all the dead plants and clear them out of our garden. If you have a compost bin, you should add them to that to create more. Once your garden is completely clear, it will be worth spreading some compost onto the soil to add plenty of nutrients ready for when you start to sow new seeds in spring.

Check Paintwork

Any paintwork on the exterior of your home might have got chipped over winter, especially if the weather has been bad. To improve it, simply scrape off any flakey, old paint, and then repaint with a couple of layers of fresh paint. It’s worth waiting for a few sunny days to do this to make sure that rain doesn’t spoil your fresh paint job. While you are doing this, take a look at your window frames. If you notice any holes and gaps in them, you should think about replacing them. Otherwise, you could find pests and vermin in your house this summer!

 

Having kids often means you have to rethink your home and how practical it may be. Among one of those things is your floor. Whether you are moving into a new property or you are simply updating your current one, you will need a floor that is able to handle your busy family life. Ideally, you need something that balances both practicality and aesthetics. This post brings you one floor in particular that has all of these great qualities, laminate flooring. Allow us to explain why we think this is the floor made for you and your family home.

Durability

Laminate flooring looks like hardwood but is actually made of synthetic layers that give this floor great endurance. The first layer, the backing, protects the floor from moisture. The core gives the stability to the floor and the image is what gives this floor a genuine wood look. This is topped off with a protective a wear layer to prevent the image fading. Another reason to choose this floor is because it is able to handle spillages, something to very frequently happen when you have kids. You can rest easy in the knowledge that whatever your kids could drop on the floor, laminate won’t become damaged. Another great reason why laminate is the perfect addition to your home is that, unlike solid wood, this floor can be installed with underfloor heating. Solid or natural woods will expand and contract with temperature fluctuations causing swelling and splitting on the boards. Laminate floors however can withstand these changes with no sings of trouble.

Easy Maintenance

As previously mentioned, laminate flooring handles spillages well and this is because this floor is waterproof. This means that, in addition to handling spillages seamlessly, the floor won’t need any expensive or specialist cleaning products. A regular sweep and or hoover and a mop is all that is needed to keep this floor looking fresh and new. Because it is a non-porous material, laminate floors don’t harbour dust and or allergens, they make for a very hygienic choice too. This is especially important considering the amount of time your kids spend crawling or playing on the floor.

Quality Designs

In terms of flooring on the market, laminate is one of the cheapest versions you can get. But don’t worry, although you are paying less upfront, you aren’t sacrificing anything in terms of style. You can find laminate flooring that imitates oak, walnut and other wood species perfectly. And don’t worry if you had a precise style in mind for your house.

So there you have it, just a few great reasons why laminate floors are perfect for the family home. We’ve only just scratched the surface, but laminate floors are truly unbeatable on both style and price. With a long life, laminate floors will last long after your kids have grown up and moved out, so don’t worry about how much havoc they may wreak while they’re young!

Living in a dream home is something that many of us fantasise about. A place where all your wants and needs are taken care of that you can call your very own. While not all of us are lucky enough to one day live in a mansion, there are some common features that many people are looking for. And while having a swimming pool or tennis court in your back garden maybe a touch unrealistic, there are some things you can look out for when on the hunt for a new property, or even incorporate into your current home.

A house is always something that is a work in progress, so you may end up putting some of these on your to do list. Alternatively, you may decide to have your dream home built from scratch. Or maybe a bit of a makeover getting your sash windows from Quickslide and having the rendering a different colour. Here are a few of the most common modern trends that homeowners are looking for.

Open Concept Living

Rather than closing off separate rooms of the house, people are looking for more open space and higher ceilings. Modern homes tend to be built with this in mind, focusing on open plan living. If you are the kind of people that have guests over on a regular basis, this may well be the option for you. Light and space are two particularly attractive prospects. However, in older houses this isn’t always easy to create whereas new build properties are built with this design trend firmly in mind.

A Home that is Just the Right Size

For one thing, living in an enormous home will really rack up the electricity and heating bills…not to mention what a nightmare it would be to clean! If you are currently in the process of looking for a new home, finding one that comfortably accommodates your entire family (and any new additions you may have on the way) should be right near the top of your priority list. You want it to be comfortable and cosy, without being too cramped. This can be a difficult balance to achieve, but something to strive for. It is also nice to know that you have the space to add an extension if you do happen to want some additional room.

Outdoor Living Space

Having at least some sort of outdoor space for a garden, decking or patio is pretty near the top of the homeowners wishlist. In the summer months, there is nothing like being able to enjoy the peace and serenity that is right there in your own backyard. Even if you only have a limited amount of space, getting in contact with a good landscaper could be worthwhile as they will be able to give you more details about how best to utilise what you do have.

Modern Kitchen

The heart of any home, this is where buyers are often drawn to first. If you do already have your own home, this job will probably be right near the top of your list of priorities. A modern kitchen design often involves plenty of surface space for food preparation. Many also have an island in the centre that is used for dining. This frees up space for more cabinet space around the outside of the kitchen. State of the art appliances are also on many people’s dream home wish list.

A Green Home

Not only is a green home much better for the environment, it is also a lot better for your own family finances. New build houses tend to be built with energy efficiency very much in mind, but older homes are often something of a work in progress. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are growing in popularity, but these can be expensive to install in the first place. A more affordable option is looking for energy efficient fixtures and appliances relating to heating, ventilation and cooling equipment (HVAC). A dream home can’t be a dream home if it isn’t a green home!

 

Smart Storage Space

The modern family has a huge amount of stuff, which is why smart storage space is hugely important for many homeowners. Probably the ultimate dream for many of us is to have a walk-in wardrobe (something that more and more modern homes are being built with). But there are all kinds of innovative storage devices out there for all over the home. This is another feature that is always a work in progress, particularly fuelled by the fact that we acquire more and more stuff over time.

Garage/Workspace

 

Of course, having a garage is a big priority of many homebuyers, particularly if you are a car enthusiast. This gives your pride and joy a huge amount more protection from the elements. But many people now want a garage that also doubles as a workspace or tool shed. Of course, this is something that is very much on the male wish list, but it can be very useful to have an extra bit of space, even if it just used for more storage.

Attic/Basement

As I mentioned at the start, a home is very much a work in progress. Having an attic or a basement is a very attractive proposition as it gives you something to work on in the future. Obviously, the most common transformation is to add an extra bedroom, but there are other possibilities as well. You might choose to put in a playroom for the kids. You may instead want to create your own home gym. Like many things in life, having a range of possibilities is exciting!

A Reliable Broadband Connection

As simple as it sounds to many of us who live in an area that is well connected, the advantages of having a reliable broadband connection cannot be overstated. If you run your own business from home, it is absolutely essential. Even if you are just looking for some good quality entertainment, so much of it is centred around around broadband these days. As well as this, the homes of the future will probably end up being very reliant on broadband. We have already seen the rise of systems that control heating and other appliances through smartphones, and this is only likely to become more popular in the future.

Good Security Features

 

One of the greatest joys of going back to your home is that it is a place where you can feel safe and secure. Solid doors and windows, landscape lighting and other home security features all contribute towards having that peace of mind. As well as this, what sort of neighbourhood your home is in makes all the difference. Though it is not something that you can control, having neighbours that you can trust really does make all the difference to your sense of wellbeing and security in your home.

A Bathroom with A Bath Tub

Many homes have started saving space by just having a shower rather than a bath tub. But many people still prefer having the option of relaxing after a long hard day by having a nice bubble bath. Even if there is a limited amount of space in the bathroom, it is still great to keep your bath and have a shower facility within it. Other ways to make the bathroom a more attractive space include updating the lighting, installing new taps, mirrors and doorknobs. Like installing a new kitchen, putting in a state of the art bathroom is also right near the top of the dream home wish list.

Home Office

With more and more people working from home in today’s digital age, having space for a home office is of huge importance to many home buyers and homeowners. We have already talked about attics, basements and garages as locations to make use of extra space that is available, but another option is a small bedroom. Many people would now prefer to use any additional space as a home office rather than having a guest bedroom. This is all based around the changing working habits that now exist in the 21st century.

Low Maintenance

In days gone by, houses used to require a great deal of upkeep. New houses tend to be built with low maintenance firmly in mind, largely due to the fact that both parents often go out to work these days so there is limited time for cleaning. Some typical low upkeep features include wood floors and granite countertops – anything that can be wiped clean rather than having the need for a whole host of cleaning products.

 

These are just 13 of the most common features on the dream home wish list. Obviously, this list will vary from person to person, but it is likely that you will have at least a few of these in mind whether you are looking to buy a new home or improve the one that you are currently living in.  
 

Are you planning a party or a celebration? Whether it’s a birthday, or a christening, a “welcome home” or a “sorry you’re leaving” gettogether, there’s no denying that budgeting for a party, as well as finding inspiration for one is difficult.

Whether it’s the food or the entertainment that’s got you stumped, here you’ll find a few tips and ideas of how you can make your party, unforgettable – without breaking the bank of course!

The food

When we think of party food, the usual comes to mind – sausage rolls, finger sandwiches, snacks, chips and fries, pizza and pop. If you’re hoping to look outside the box, then why not consider something like a hog roast? Hiring a hog roast machine for a party is a statement in itself; it looks great and smells great too. It’s also handy because there is very minimal clean up afterwards and you’ll save a bomb too! You can find more about hog roast machine hire if you click here.

Think about a centrepiece

It’s always handy to have something that the party can centre around, something that will really get your guests attention. This could be a chocolate fountain, an extravagant cake, a cupcake tower or maybe even an ice sculpture. This will turn heads and makes a great photo setting too.

The entertainment

Entertainment can vary depending on the type of party your throwing. If it’s sombre affair, then something low key is probably more appropriate. However, if you’re looking for something different, then consider these options:

For kids:

  • Balloon modellers. Balloon modelling is both mesmerising and has become an art in its own right! From a favourite cartoon character, to all the animals in the jungle, balloon models are something the kids can take home with them too!
  • Mobile petting zoo. Have you ever seen an iguana up close? Or held a tarantula? Well, with a mobile petting zoo, you can! There are different types of petting zoos out there, from the cute and cuddly, to the scaly and slimy!
  • Close up magicians: This is great for older kids, having their smart phone disappear before their very eyes is bound to leave a few lasting memories!
  • Classic party games: You know what they say; if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it! Sometimes the classics work the best. Pin the tail on the donkey, pass the parcel, musical statues and musical chairs are always popular and go down well!

For adults:

  • DIY cocktail bar: Instead of buying crates of beer and bottles of wine, why not dig out all those old spirits in the cupboard and create your very own cocktail bar!
  • Karaoke: Sometimes, all you need is music. Karaoke is a great way of getting everyone together and singing along to their favourite tunes!
  • DIY Photobooth – Everyone loves a photobooth! But instead of hiring an expensive one, try creating your own. All you need is a tablet with a camera and a photobooth app. Don’t forget to set up a fun background and provide all the fun props!

Last week I was invited to London for a bit of indulgence but also to learn about a possible new career direction for 2018. We all know that having a bit of me time is hard as a mum and we also know that a little something to make us feel special goes a long way too.

Bio-Sculpture  is a company that aims for everyone to feel great. They build flexible training that enables mums to work around family life and to develop a business that makes others feel fab.

I was treated to one of their manicures (followed by a massage!) while learning about the ethics behind their products and their business model. The team were so lovely and down to earth sharing their experience of being a manicurist as well as how they have developed their careers. It was really lovely to listen to these women who have taken the training and now run their own business.

“YOUR HANDS ARE YOUR CALLING CARD IN LIFE, YOUR NAILS THEIR FOCAL POINT”

ELMIEN SCHOLTZ – FOUNDER OF BIO SCULPTURE GEL

I liked the way the team all sounded so passionate about their job, sharing anecdotes while treating my nails to a new look. I felt the product looked fab. A week in they look great and I’ve only chipped one nail (life with 3 kids is super hectic and I totally blame that!).

The products themselves are ethical. Bio Sculpture is a 100% vegan product which means it is also cruelty free. This is a unique selling point of using the brand as are the vitamin laced base coats too. When you are starting a business it’s a good idea to have a niche and even better if it is an ethical brand/company too.

With over 120 colours to try from as well as glitters, pattern work too it won’t be too long before your business has an edge over competitors. I have been told the colours can be quite addictive and there are fun seasonal variations that you can try out too.

In regards to the training I liked the way it is flexible too. The company have an understanding about how hard it can be to fit training days in so you can fit the training in at your own pace rather than have to take a week away from your family.

I have to say it is lovely to meet a the people behind the brand that also are well aware of the constraints of time as a parent. After my manicure I was treated to a wonderful massage and quite frankly after having a raver baby and a poorly one all week I was in desperate need of a bit of pampering. I left the event feeling chilled and ready to rock parenthood again.

Thank you for inviting me to such a lovely day of indulgence! Bio Sculpture and Tots100 .