Well, I went to Paris, last week and it was ALL KINDS of amazing. I can’t even put into words how much I love that city, every square inch of it (and we covered a *lot* of square inches)
Back in Surrey now, with my babes, and laid up like a kipper. I finally had my first carpal tunnel op on Wednesday, mother of god those injections were a bitch, I think I would prefer to be knocked out next time. For now, I have to keep my (right) hand raised for 2 weeks, it’s got a bandage as thick as a cast (extreme?) and I can’t use my fingers as the stitches are in the middle of my palm. So, I’ve gone from swanning round the city of romance to having my dinner cut up for me by the bloke. I like to cover all bases you know?
I’ve got a tonne of things to write about, a million and one goodies, amazing photos to share, and I want to give the header a face lift. But, until this huge thing comes off I’m stuck with writing notes on my phone, complete with spelling mistakes. Left handed typing is a bitch.
So, in the style of Arnie (just do it…..) I’ll be back.
It can really get you down when the weather is bad, and this is even more true when you’re trying to entertain children. Here are some tips for making the most of a winter day.
Get creative with food
Adults and children alike love treats, so get creative and try something new. Take a look at www.creamchargersdirect.co.uk. These whipped-cream chargers can add that little something extra to hot chocolate, desserts or cakes. You can add all sorts of flavourings and colours to the cream and this makes it great for cakes too.
You and your kids can have heaps of fun decorating and eating.
Turn the heating up and pick a few movies. Perhaps it’ll be your favourite trilogy or a series of horror films. Whatever you choose, stock up on nibbles and blankets and perhaps even a bottle of wine. This is a great chance to have some real me-time without worrying about the weather.
If the weather isn’t too terrible then you should at least go for a short walk. The crisp air will help improve your lungs, skin and mood (here are other natural ways to boost your mood from Exeter University). This is especially true if you’ve been hiding inside for a few days. Make sure to wrap up warm with a cosy house to come back to.
Once you get home, you’ll appreciate the warmth all the much more and you’ll find it easier to relax.
Book a holiday
It’s during the winter that we feel the need for a holiday. You might want to book yourself a trip to somewhere with real snow for some winter sports or you might want to book that summer holiday. The thought of jetting off somewhere warm in the coming months definitely makes it easier to get through a grey, drizzly day.
Play in the snow
If we do get some proper snowfall, don’t spend your time complaining about it. When was the last time you went sledging? Get out into the snow and play like you used to; sledge down hills, build snowmen and have snowball fights. Parents will probably already do this but even if you don’t have children, you should take some time out of your day to play in the snow.
Do something productive
Did you have plans in the garden but it’s raining/snowing/cold? Instead of sitting in front of the television all day, get on with something productive inside the house. This might be baking a batch of cookies or making meals to freeze. You might want to sort out your filing cabinet or do some yoga. You were already planning on doing something good with your day, don’t let the weather ruin that.
Improve your indoors
If you’re craving nature that’s not grey and damp then transform your indoor spaces with fresh flowers, floral prints and lots of greenery in the form of houseplants. It’s a great way to cheer yourself up when you’re getting a bit bored of the weather.
Regardless of how big or small your house is, how many people live there or how many cupboards, wall units and drawers you have, there just NEVER seems to be enough storage for everything!
Most people like their home to be neat, tidy and stylish. With growing families and seemingly shrinking houses sometimes keeping a house organised can feel like a losing battle. I am forever following my children around the house, picking clothes up off the floor and encouraging them to tidy their toys away, yet the house still always looks like a small tornado has hit it at the end of the day!
However, storage doesn’t have to be limited to storage units and built in cupboards. There are a multitude of quirky and cool solutions that will not only provide you with more space but will also look amazing in the process.
Take a look at some of our best stylish and alternative storage solutions for your home.
Cube shelves Cube shelves look stunning in a modern room, and can be made from a variety of materials, including white wood, high gloss and classic pine. Best hung in sets of three, they add instant style to your walls and provide you with a useful place to store books, ornaments, candles and much more!
Fruit and vegetable crates
If your home is more shabby chic, then fruit or vegetable packing crates could be a great solution for you. Far from being the dirty and utility item you may expect them to be, they add a touch of vintage cool to any room in your home. Useful for storing jars in the kitchen, or blankets and soft furnishings in the lounge.
A really inexpensive but surprisingly stylish storage solution is to make a hanging jar shelf. These help to declutter and organise your space and provide you with an opportunity to upcycle your old food jars.
You could either attach some ribbon or twine to the neck of a jam jar, which is then suspended to a hook attached to a metal rail. Alternatively you could screw or glue the lid of a jar to the underside of an existing shelf, add whatever you would like to store to the jar, and then simply screw the jar to the lid.
A neat stack of differently sized vintage suitcases looks amazing in a lounge or bedroom, and could just be the incentive your children need to tidy their toys up after themselves. Make tidying up an adventure by asking them to pretend they’re going on holiday and need to pack all their toys for the trip. Children love a bit of make-believe and a vintage suitcase could provide hours of fun, as well as being a useful and practical item for your home.
Another fantastic, inexpensive and innovative storage solution is the humble jute bag. Hardwearing and available in a range of different sizes, they are perfect for storing items such as laundry, toys, vegetables, newspapers and books.
I seem to have taken this giant step into the big wide world and now I’m there, I’m looking at what direction to take next. I’ve always been a planner, a worrier, a thinker. Which is great, but when that’s *all* you do, you end up waiting. And waiting and waiting…
I don’t want to wait anymore. I’m starting to take steps to lead my life in the right direction. It might take me a while to get there, but trying is better than doing nothing. I have a passion for my life again, I feel motivated, confident, and scared! I don’t know if it’s because I stepped out of my comfort zone and now I have no choice but to make things happen, or if it’s because I’ve just decided to get on with it, whichever it is I like it.
Being scared is an exciting feeling. Having a purpose is a good one. It wakes up your senses and pushes you to keep trying new things. I’ve made decisions about what I want to do with my own life, totally unrelated to my children or my husband, I’ve built good, strong relationships and I have friends I can rely on to boost me up and keep me going.
Even though we’re almost at the end of January and Christmas seems like a distant memory, I’ve still been feeling sluggish, slow, heavier and just generally, bleugh. The alcohol has been cut right back (not gone completely but I’m not a massive drinker anyway, unless we’re partying)
I wanted to have a kick start to the healthy new me, I’ve been cutting back on crap foods and trying to stick to the clean eating plan (if you follow me on Pinterest you’ll already know about this!) but there is nothing like a fast, powerful boost detox.
SoulMate Food stepped in and offered me their 3 day, fruit juice cleanse, which was perfect. I’ve done a detox before and it was hardcore, so although I felt more prepared this time, I was still a bit nervous!
The juices arrived on Monday morning, no knocking on the door waking everyone up, it was like a stealth delivery, the hubs opened the door to leave for work at 7am and they were already there! Perfectly numbered and ready to be stashed in the fridge.
Let me just start off by saying these juices taste NICE! That was one of my struggles last time, the flavour, but these are like fresh juices that I would pick to have with a lunch or breakfast anyway. The fact that they’re numbered so you know which order to have them in and can just open the fridge door, grab a juice and close it just as quickly (who needs fridge temptation when you’re detoxing!)
The breakfast detox juice contains orange, apple, carrot & ginger and it’s really refreshing, I was worried that the ginger would overpower it (we have a tendency of doing that) but it didn’t at all, in fact I couldn’t taste the carrot either! Juice two, the vitality juice has pineapple, banana, apple and coconut milk, it’s thick, creamy almost smoothie like, and is my favourite of all six.
Number 3, berries and cherries, is, as you’d expect, full of berries. Apple, banana, blackberry, strawberry and cherry, it’s really fruity and quite sour but it wakes the mouth up so that’s always a plus!
Number 4, Earth, is banana, blackcurrant, apple, raspberry and pomegranate, number 5 is Tropical, apple, orange, banana, mango, passionfruit and goji berry and the last juice of the day, Nutrilicious, is strawberry, banana, red grape, orange, white grape and lemon.
I was busy yesterday, so I’m going to assume that it made the whole no eating thing a lot easier, but, although there were moments that I wanted to eat something (like when making the kids dinner!) I managed to get through it and stuck with the juices and water. I did hit the sack a hell of a lot earlier than I usually would, partly down to being knackered, partly down to trying to avoid the fridge, but I slept like a baby! I woke up at three needing the loo (another side effect of the amount of liquid!) and it felt like I’d been asleep for 12 hours! I’m sure if I could last a whole week on a juice detox I’d get the best sleep of my life. Waking up this morning I was prepared for the grumbling belly of someone who hadn’t eaten for 24 hours but I felt fine, and I’m just about to open juice 3, with no cracking! I am feeling quite positive that I’ll make it through to the end of tomorrow without eating anything!
The idea of the 6 juices is to have one every two hours, with at least 2l of water throughout the day. No coffee or alcohol either, and so far I’ve had no banging headaches that usually follow the caffeine leaving my body and although I wouldn’t say I was feeling wide awake, I’m still quite knackered, my brain feels quite alert (which is a new thing!)
I’m not doing the juice purely for weight loss, because if I do lose anything, some of it will come back on once I start eating, but I’m hoping to get rid of the toxins and give my body the boost it needs, laying the foundations for the rest of the healthy living. I’m never going to be a stick insect, and nor do I want to be, but I do want glowing skin, shiny hair and a healthy, toned body, which all require hard work & good foods!
New Year’s resolutions are traditionally reserved for oaths of self-betterment, lists of things you’ll give up, and all around personal development. While it’s always important to focus on your self-improvement, don’t forget about bettering your living space. The start can be as easy as cleaning out the clutter or as drastic as redecorating your home from ceiling to floorboard. If you fancy giving your home a new look, why not try some of the latest décor trends making headway this year- with bold wall designs, modern twists on classic furnishings, and coastal colours.
The consensus among designers is that 2014 will be saturated with eye-popping hues like mustard, cobalt, and emerald. The sway towards these earthy tones accompanies the expert’s style prediction for 2014—coastal casual. You’ll get your fix of those beachy blues and yellows with one of the many chairs showcased by Made.com. Their Cerulean Blue 4-Seater Modular Sofa, for example, fits the coastal casual trend and has a modern appeal which is guaranteed to draw attention to any room. “The Abingdon Collection was a labour of love—we wanted to create seating for individuals, with the flexibility to fit with anyone’s home, purpose, style or mood,” said Chloe, Creative Director for Made.com. If your budget doesn’t accommodate this piece, take a peek at their line of footstools and ottomans available in Dandelion Yellow, Kelp Green, and Teira Blue.
Indulge in Embellishments
Wall decals are making a comeback this year and we’re not talking about your grandma’s 1970s patterns. While vintage and retro wall coverings made a brief appearance in 2013, the New Year is all about sleek and stylish designs. We love wallpaper too because it’s relatively easy to apply and grants you the flexibility to change the pattern from room to room without the hassle of moving furniture or hiring a crew. Poly fabric material, in particular, has a repositionable adhesive backing. That means you can peel it off of a wall without any damage. What’s more, you can get photographs printed on this material for a customised embellishment.
Brass is Back
In most households, the kitchen is one of the most frequented spaces. And when you’re thinking about metal accents that are both durable and aesthetically pleasing, it’s got to be brass. A yellowish alloy made of copper and zinc, brass is ideal for faucets, ceiling lights, and even cabinet handles. Cleanup is even quicker! Try using a paste made from vinegar, salt, and flour to clean tarnished brass. It’s inexpensive and leaves your brass looking brand new.
There’s no better way to spring into the season than with the hottest hues and trendiest furnishings. Keep a sharp eye for the coastal casual look which is exemplified in deep blues, cool shades of green, and warm yellows. Add some personal appeal to any room with patterned or textured wallpaper and revamp the kitchen with brass fixtures that are easy on the eyes and your wallet.