Do you have a loft space or spare room in your home that you’ve always dreamed of turning into a playroom for the kids, but are yet to do so because of the cost?  If you’re savvy about it, you can create an incredible playroom on a shoestring budget. We know there are some things you can’t cut back on so we have looked at the essentials as well as the best cost cutting hacks and ideas.

Structure and Insulation

If you are covering your loft space for a children’s playroom then you will need to invest the most money in making sure the structure and insulation is safe. You’ll want the space to be nice and warm in winter as well as light and airy in the summer. Get these right first time and the rest of creating a lovely space is easy!

Use white paint

Basic white paint is the cheapest type of paint you can get, and so is ideal for decorating your children’s new playroom. Don’t worry about white being too boring because there are plenty of ways you can jazz up the walls. Once you’ve put the shelves up – you can make these yourself from old pieces of wood, just make sure to sand them down and varnish them to prevent splinters – and added a couple of pieces of cheap wall art, the space will look much more exciting. Perhaps you could also stick some glow in the dark stars on the ceiling, make some DIY bunting, and string up some cheap fairy lights?

Create a chalkboard wall

Kids love being able to draw, so instead of buying them a chalkboard, invest in some chalkboard paint and use it to decorate one wall. This should not only work out cheaper than buying a big chalkboard to hang up, but it will also give your children all the space that they want to draw on.

Be creative with the seating

When it comes to the seating in your children’s playroom, bean bag chairs and foam floor cushions are ideal. However, if you want an area where you can sit and read to your children or where they can relax while watching a movie, adding a sofa could be a good idea. There’s no need to buy a new one, have a look online for a second-hand design. To ensure that you have plenty of room for when guests come to stay, why not opt to get a sofa bed or futon?

Don’t buy kid’s furniture

It’s tempting to deck out your children’s playroom with kid-sized furniture. However, the truth is that furniture made for kids is always more expensive that adult-sized designs, plus it doesn’t tend to wear as well, as often it’s cheaply made. Then there’s the fact that at some point or another, your kids will grow out of it. So, if you want to save money, opt to get an adult-sized table and chairs for your children’s playroom. You’ll want the room to become a teenage den at some point so think of more flexible items of furniture!

Take note of the tips and ideas above, and you can create a beautiful playroom that is perfect for your kids but won’t cost the earth.

If you have been together then you might be a little stuck on what is a suitable Valentines gift this year.I have to admit that I look at Gav’s wish list full of vinyl and select according to my budget! But I wanted to look for a few alternatives this year and so I am sharing them with you!
These aren’t just for women but if you are celebrating a milestone Valentines or anniversary year than an eternity ring is a great gift to cement those first vows that you said years ago.
I love simplicity and this Silver Plait from FHinds that won’t break the bank.
Photos or Artwork.
If you less bling and more art lover then I love this One in A Million Poster from Find Me A Gift. Also great if it is your paper anniversary year too!
The Star Wars Fan
You may remember from Christmas that my house has 1/2 Star Wars fans in! So This Star Wars tumbler and his favourite spirit will go down a treat.
Inject Some Extra Romance!
I love these date night idea cards. We all know that sometimes we put ourselves last after the kids but this year make a pact to have a date night on a regular basis. We try to do a gig a month or a meal. I think these are a fab idea for a couple trying to find their groove after kids!
Whisk Him Away!
If you have the funds you cant’ beat a romantic break for two! I would gladly book into MalMaison Brighton for a night or two. Find their special offers and grab a bargain. They often have a deal for a stay and dinner for around £99!
Do you buy gifts for each other on Valentine’s Day? Let me know how you will be celebrating this year.

We were recently sent some gorgeous Winnie The Pooh plush toys and I knew that they would be just perfect for the newest member of our family. The perfect soft toy for a newborn is a huge decision as they will carry this toy around as they grown and it will become as close to them as their best friend especially through these special early years. It has to be jo so and characters that are well known across the world but also timeless like Winnie The Pooh and Tigger are just so aren’t they?

As a big fan of Winnie the Pooh (my sister handprinted some Winnie The Pooh scenes for our daughters nursery) it seemed that these gorgeous toys would be a perfect gift. Soft toys are great for baby’s sensory development and it helps that they are beautiful too. They have a ducky look to them and are washable so great for little ones who will drag their favourite toy around with them, drop them from a buggy and cover them in teething dribble.

These 12 inch characters are big enough for a cuddle too.

Can’t you just see that these are going to become the besets of friends!

You can get these plush characters from Argos for £14.99 each.

There will be a Posh Paws Winnie the Pooh takeover going live on 12 th Feb where there will be FREE downloads and competitions to enter! Check out www.ukmums.tvand join in!

When it’s winter it’s hard to imagine sunlight creeping into your bedroom in the small hours, waking the birds – and then you – up. However, time marches on and before we know it it’ll be light at 5.00am. In some ways this is great; life’s starting up again, everyone feels energised and ready for barbecues in the evening and long rambling walks…

Unless, of course, you’re sleep-deprived because you or one of your children wake up at 4.30am every day and by the time you’re at work you’ve already been up and at ‘em for several hours.

There is a solution

Our brains have evolved to come back “on” at the smallest ray of sunlight, especially early morning sunlight, and once we’re on, it’s hard to switch back off, especially for just a couple of hours. After a few weeks of this, many people are burnt out. Thankfully, using blackout blinds is a great way to block out the light and stop those naughty photons from shaking your poor brain awake – at least until your alarm goes off at a reasonable hour.

How to let the darkness in

Sorry, physicists… The simplest way to achieve a blackout is to install roller blinds. You need, however, to take great care with your measurements because if the blind isn’t a really tight fit then some stray rays are going to get in. Visit for ideas and advice on mounting the blind as you can get special frames that keep the fabric snug to the window for maximum darkness.

You don’t have to go full-blackout

Although most types of blinds can be made with blackout fabric, you might find it a slight overkill, especially if you want a fancier look, like a Roman blind, for example. One solution here is to team up a regular, non-blackout blind with curtains so that any light the blind fails to catch is stopped in its tracks by the curtains.

Blinds don’t just keep out light

Blinds don’t just control light, they can also help you to control the temperatures in your living and sleeping spaces. Maintaining a comfortable temperature is also very important if you’re aiming for a sound sleep, so you can use several combinations of blinds and drapes, especially if you have a south or a north-facing bedroom window. Blinds are great for keeping out the sun in the summer and then the curtains keep the heat in when it’s cold outside. Perfect.

Keep the noise down

Some people are just light sleepers by nature, so the slightest noise sets them off and then that’s it for the day! If the dawn chorus in the summer months in the summer months sounds more like the klaxon of doom to you, then it’s well worth investing in some wooden shutters to baffle and block noise. Plantation shutters look amazing inside or outside and they work in concert with blinds and curtains to create a cocoon-like space you can really relax in.

When Mountain Buggy heard we were going to have another little man they offered us their slimline Mountain Buggy Duet to review we had a look at what it could offer us. We had come across the Duet in our local baby pram specials shop Great Expectations and were really interested on how it would handle. We’ve tried many a buggy in Nicola’s amazing shop but when it came to a double we hadn’t got a clue! We also wanted to know the best way to secure it – would a locking carabiner work on it or would we need a bike lock.

 What we got:

The duet frame comes with two birth to toddler seats as standard

A soft bottle holder

Seat liners in flint

Extras we also received:

Carrycot plus, adapters and raincover

Single seat rain cover (these are purchased as separate and a double is available)

Jute shopper attachment for single mode

From box to buggy took us around 15 minutes (if you buy from Nicola she’ll even put it together!). The carrycot elements was the most fiddly and took me 20 minutes to sort out however switching it the the second carrycot style for babies with reflux took me 5 minutes.

When the main seats are in the buggy is still suitable from birth. When it goes into double seat mode there is also a barrier bar. When purchasing  you need to think on whether you want baby to face you before investing in the carrycot. I personally love the kids to parent face me so it’s nice to have this option when they’re super little.

The seat units zip on and off for easy cleaning which we all know is a bonus when you have weaned babies who need snacks on the go!

mountain buggy with chelle

We don’t have a car so rely on walking and public transport. We’ve found taking the bus is no problem! The pushchair takes just under 1.5 buggy seats so not much space extra than a single mode buggy. The adjustable handle means it’s not sticking out too much and is also great when you have one short and one tall parent!

 The buggy manages well over varied terrains and doesn’t feel wobbly up and down kerbs. It’s very robust for such a slimline double.

The Mountain Buggy Duet is easy to fold too which if you have storage space or a car means you can pop it out of the way. Please do check measurements first though!

The hoods don’t stay as static when you have carrycot and seat mode. However once you figure out how to keep them up its easy too. However I like hoods to offer a bit more coverage and them to look smooth.

The Mountain Buggy Duet and the carrycot you are looking at a cost of £688. The extras I received – joey clip-on tote bag and rain covers – cost extra. The Joey costs £49 and the single rain covers are from £29.
The children seem happy in it and our youngest falls straight asleep in the carrycot so it’s been a welcome addition in the daytime when he won’t sleep anywhere other than me! The only downside is at 18 months old JediBoy fills his seat so there’s not much more growing room for him. However this just gives me an excuse to buy the scooter which attaches to the buggy!