Monthly Archives:

May 2017

Sensible Improvements for a More Practical Home

Your home needs to work for you, whether you spend a lot of time in it or not. It should fit in with your lifestyle and help to make your life easier as much as possible. While you want to make your home look stylish, it’s also important that it’s practical. Fortunately, it can do both things at the same time. You can make your home more practical while ensuring it’s also attractive. Some easy changes can give you a home that works for you, without anything that just gets in the way or causes extra work for you.

Image credit: Pixabay

Practical Bathroom Updates

In the bathroom, you need to make sure the space is set up for all your necessary washing needs and other tasks. While the bathroom is a great place to relax with a shower or bath, it’s also one of the rooms you use most in your home. Everyone is always going in and out for various reasons. If you want a more practical bathroom, turning it into a wetroom is one thing you can consider. When you want to clean it, you can simply hose it down, without worrying about what you’re getting wet. It’s quicker and easier than scrubbing things by hand.

In the Kitchen

Your kitchen needs to be a practical space too so you can get on with cooking. It’s a good idea to think about how you use your kitchen and what could help you. A new kitchen sink with two bowls could be a practical solution for you. Have a look at to see some examples of what you could get. Some appliances could be good practical solutions for you. For example, a slow cooker makes it easy to get dinner ready in advance and leave it to cook while you’re busy.


Image credit: Pixabay

Entrances and Exits

Some of the areas of your home that see a lot of foot traffic are the entranceways. People come in and out, taking off and putting on shoes and outerwear. They can end up getting blocked by things left lying around or even just people standing in the way. You can make them more practical with a few solutions. Firstly, a mat makes sure that everyone has somewhere to wipe their feet. A bench gives them somewhere to sit and take off their shoes and could also double up as a shoe cabinet. You can use stands, rails, and boxes to store everything from coats to gloves and scarves.


Image credit: Max Pixel

Storage Around the House

It’s not just your entranceways where storage can be useful. You can make practical additions all around the house with the right storage. If you can afford to have custom storage solutions fitted, you can find the perfect answers to storing many things. In the bedroom, for example, you can choose storage systems that work for you depending on what you own and wear. Have a look at for some storage ideas.

Some practical changes to your home can make it more suitable for you. You could save time and energy too.

This is a collaborative post

AniMalcolm By David Baddiel – Book Review #23




I didn’t know David Baddiel wrote children’s books. Now I do and now I know how good he is at writing them, I’ll be buying his other books for Kaycee and Ella.
It’s now out in paperback and is great for girls and boys aged between 8-11 years.

I read AniMalcolm in just over 2 days. It would have only taken me a day if we hadn’t been so busy in the garden while the weather was nice!

Malcolm Bailey

Malcolm Bailey doesn’t like animals. At all. None of them.

His family all love animals. They have two cats, a dog, a hamster and an iguana. To add to all those, they now have a chinchilla. Well, Malcolm has a chinchilla because instead of the laptop he’d asked for for his birthday, he got a chinchilla.

AniMalcolm By David Baddiel

He’s not very happy about this as you can imagine. His one saving grace is that his parents have saved up to be able to send him on the school trip.
Funnily enough, He didn’t know where the school trip was this year but he was looking forward to having fun with his friends.

Farm Trip

That is until he found out that the school trip was to a farm!

Poor Malcolm couldn’t get a break from animals. What he didn’t know was there was more to come. Not only was he going to see lots of animals, he was about to find out what it was like to be one. Well, not just one but lots of different types.

AniMalcolm By David Baddiel

Malcolm meets a goat called K-Pax who is a bit different from the other goats. He’s got piercing eyes which seem to hypnotise Malcolm.

After meeting K-Pax, Malcolm falls asleep and wakes up as a tortoise. From then on, every time Malcolm falls asleep, he wakes up as a different animal.
I’m not going to tell you them all because I don’t want to spoil it. I will say I loved how all the animals have their own languages and Malcolm has to become an animal to be able to understand them when they talk.
Except for the pig, who can speak nearly all Malanguages (which is what Animal Languages are called!) and is very wise.

It was funny in places, a bit gruesome in others (the cat and the pigeon is all I’m saying!) and a little sad at times but it had a happy ending so all’s good!


I love the illustrations by Jim Field, especially the one of the three sheep called Dolly.

AniMalcolm By David Baddiel

Malcolm as a monkey and covered in monkey poo is also another favourite!

AniMalcolm by David Baddiel

Kaycee and Ella are both looking forward to reading it. All we have to do now is decide who gets it first!

You can buy a copy on Amazon, where you’ll also find his other books, The Parent Agency, The Person Controller and the book he wrote for World Book Day, The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked.

There’s also more about the book on YouTube

We were sent a copy of the book in return for an honest review.

3 Tips To Clearing A Clogged Bathtub Drain

Clearing A Clogged Bathtub Drain


A clogged bathtub drain is one of the most common household problems that gets even worse if not immediately dealt with. It usually starts with a deep pool of water that doesn’t drain the way it should. The problem may be caused by an accumulation of hair strands, dirt, grease, and/or soap scum inside the drainage system.

Like any other household issue, there are a few ways that you can minimize the chances of getting a clogged bathtub drain in the future. You may install a drain protector to catch hair, small pieces of soap, and other particles. Every month or so, you may also pour at least two litres of boiling water directly into the drain to dissolve grease clumps. Once the problem arises, you may consider these three tips to clearing a clogged bathtub drain and prevent it from getting out of your hand. The sooner you take an action, the easier it is for you to remove the clog.


  1. Remove the clog using different tools.

Using a plunger is perhaps the cheapest and quickest way to remove a simple clog in a bathtub drain. To increase the suction power, apply petroleum jelly around the rim of the suction cup and add more water until the bottom of the cup is fully submerged. There are however different types of drain clogs that are more difficult to remove by using only a plunger such as those located deep inside the pipe system and those caused by lumps of hair strands.

If using a plunger doesn’t work, then removing the clog using your hands should be a good alternative. Do not forget to wear gloves before the procedure and to apply disinfectant afterwards. Depending on the type of the drain, you may need to unscrew the cover first. Use a flashlight to locate shallow clogs and use needle nose pliers, metal hooks, or bent wires from metal coat hangers to reach deeper parts of the drain.

Clogged bathtub drain


  1. Remove the clog using chemicals.

While strong chemicals are available in most hardware stores and supermarkets, using them to unclog a bathtub drain should be one of your last resorts. They may be cheaper and easy to do but besides being harmful to the environment, they can also cause damage to the pipes especially if used frequently. Read the instructions carefully and take safety precautions before using these chemicals.

Although it is not as effective as using strong chemicals, using baking soda and vinegar is an eco-friendly alternative and is also safe for plastic pipes. Do this by pouring half a cup of baking soda and the same amount of vinegar directly down the drain. Allow the solution to set for at least thirty minutes before flushing the drain with boiling water.


  1. Call a professional plumber.

If you are worried about doing further damage to the pipes or are not comfortable with using chemicals, then hiring a professional plumber would be the best option. Although hiring one comes at a price, professional plumbers can accurately spot the cause of the problem and completely remove the clog; saving you from expensive repairs in the future. Plumbing Force, one of the leading service providers in the United Kingdom, offers same day emergency repairs for your toilet, bathroom, boiler, gas heater, drainage, and appliance problems.

This is a collaborative post

Big Little Lies By Liane Moriarty – Book Review #22

Big Little Lies

I saw a preview for a TV show called Big Little Lies. I knew it was the kind of show I’d enjoy. Before I watched the show, I wanted to read the book.

A few days later I got an email from NetGalley, offering me a free download in return for a review so here are!

It took me longer to read than usual but only because I’ve been so busy. If I’d have had the time, I’d have read it in a day or two. I hated having to keep putting it down!

The thing I loved most was the fact that you didn’t know who the victim was all the way through the book. I found myself hoping it wouldn’t be certain characters.

The friendship between Jane, Madeline and Celeste was lovely. It made you want to be in their circle, going through the ups and downs of life with them by your side.

It’s rare to find a book about a murder where the actual victim isn’t revealed until the end of the book. I liked that it kept me guessing.

It was very funny in parts, not so in others. I really can’t wait to see how it translated to the screen.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Goodreads 21 books completed


Ella’s Away For The Weekend At Cub Camp

Weekend Cub Camp

Cub camp


Ella’s been looking forward to this weekend. She’s gone to Cub camp until bank holiday Monday afternoon. She went this time last year and had a great time.
I’m so pleased the weather is going to be lovely for them all 🙂

Ella Cub Camp Weekend

She was a bit upset, though, because the weekend has clashed with a visit from her sister, Kellyann. She took Kaycee and Kaycee’s friend shopping and out for lunch today.
They met at her older brother’s pub where he’s the chef and they met her other brother, Jourdain and his fiancee, Netty, for lunch.

Ella really wanted to go with them but she wouldn’t have been back in time. She was great about it, though. We told her there will be other times when she’ll be able to meet them all for lunch 🙂

Netflix – What We’re Watching



We’ve decided to cut down on a number of TV shows we record so that we have more time to watch our Netflix shows.

Big Bang Theory

At the moment, Ant and I are on season 2 of The Big Band Theory.

Netflix What We're Watching - The Big Bang Theory

I have no idea why we haven’t watched this before. It’s brilliant. The downside to it, though, is that Ant finds it so funny, he laughs out loud. Very. Loud.
Because we don’t watch it until the kids are bed, I worry that he’s going to wake them or disturb the neighbours!

After getting back from our holiday last year, our neighbours asked if we’d been on holiday because they hadn’t heard Ant laughing for the week!

Designated Survivor

The next show we’re enjoying is Designated Survivor.

Netflix What We're Watching - Designated Survivor

I like Kiefer Sutherland and this is a really interesting program. We have a thing for American political dramas at the moment.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Another of our favourites is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Netflix What We're Watching - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

It’s a bit daft but I think that’s what appeals to us about it.

Gilmore Girls, A Year In The Life

I started watching The Gilmore Girls, A Year In The Life.

Netflix What We're Watching - Gilmore Girls A Year In The Life

I’ve not finished episode 1 yet and I started it weeks ago. I just don’t seem to get time to finish it. I was so looking forward to it as well. Hopefully, now we’ve stopped recording so many TV shows, I’ll get to watch all the episodes!

13 Reasons Why

Last year I read 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I really enjoyed and it and was excited to watch the show.

Netflix What We're Watching - 13 Reasons Why

It hasn’t disappointed so far. I’m on episode 7 which is Tape 4, Side A.
It centres on Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen. Hannah commits suicide. Before she does, she makes some tapes that tell of 13 people who did things to her that made her decide to end her life.

Once Upon A Time

I used to watch Once Upon A Time but as with everything else, I haven’t had time recently.

Netflix What We're Watching - Once Upon A Time

Kaycee, though, is now hooked and has nearly watched every series. She’s soon going to have to wait each week for the new episodes to be released!

I’m very nosy and would love to know what you’re watching on Netflix?!

Gardening Party and BBQ For The Family

Gardening Party



The weather this past week has been awesome! I’m actually quite surprised at how nice it’s been, what with a bank holiday weekend coming up. The weather people are telling me there’s more of this lovely sunshine to come so we’ve planned a BBQ and gardening party for the family.

We have lots of work to do in the garden, as you may well know if you’ve been reading my garden updates and we need help. There’s too much to get done on our own. I figured if we fed and watered the family, they’d come and give us a hand!


As well as all the bushes to dig up….

Gardening party - bushes to dig up

the top part of the garden seems to have been taken over by a bramble.

I think it’s blackberry but I’m not 100% sure. It’s very sneaky, seemingly to have seeded itself and spread without our knowledge! Seriously, though, I was very surprised to see how big it is after only seeing a tiny plant just peeking through, last year! I dug some up when we were working up there on the shed and greenhouse but obviously I didn’t get it all.

It’s going to be a big job to cut it back and dig it up and it’s one I’m not looking forward to at all.


Peach Tree

We have a peach tree that has some kind of infection. I believe it’s called peach leaf curl from what I’ve been able to find out on Google. I thought we were going to have to dig it up but it seems we can treat it in autumn using a fungicide spray.
Fingers crossed it’ll be back to good health next year Smile

Peach tree leaf curl

There are also 2 butterfly bushes to dig up. One of them was a Mother’s Day present some years ago. The other was a self-seeder that I ignored last year and is now just about taller than me!

Gardening party - butterfly bush

It’s going to be a busy, but hopefully, fun day Smile

Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Pops – Slimming World Recipe

These Slimming World chocolate and vanilla yogurt ice pops are only half a syn each. It’s great having these to reach for when it’s hot outside and the kids are devouring all the ice cream lollies! Saying that, though, I haven’t had any of my Slimming […]

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How to manage your hair after a workout

Managing Your Hair After A Workout


Working out can be very rewarding and a great way to relieve stress during a busy work week. While working out is great, it can also be a challenge to fit into your schedule. Many like to work out at lunch but to do so, you need to take a shower, do your hair, and apply make up so that you can be prepared to take on the second half of the day. This can often pose a great challenge for those who work in environments that have professional grooming requirements. This article will help identify some ways to easily manage your hair after a workout.


  1. The amount of sweat matters. Depending on how much you will be sweating during your workout, you may not have to worry about washing and restyling your mane before heading back to the office. For workouts that are low impact and produce little sweat around the hairline, it is possible to use a small amount of dry shampoo and a towel to dry your hair. If you are doing a more intense workout that will drench your hairline, it is a good idea to wear a sweatband or a hair wrap to help with this. If this is the case, add dry shampoo to your hair before you start working out. This will help your hair absorb sweat.


  1. Plan enough time. If you only have an hour to work out and you know that it will take you some time to wash and dry your hair, consider leaving at least 30 minutes to prep and get dressed before heading back to work. It is also helpful to be prepared and bring all the necessities to the gym with you. Having a designated gym bag stocked with items such as but not limited to a hairbrush, deodorant, dry shampoo, and an extremely quiet hair dryer can go a long way in helping you establish a routine that is conducive to workout out a lunch time.


  1. Wash your hair and skip the drying. If all else fails, simply take a quick shower after you work out and wash your hair. Instead of drying your hair, as that takes time, towel dry as much as you can before combing out your locks and pull it back into a tight bun. Dress up this look by adding some pretty bobby pins to your updo. If you are not an updo fan, you can pull your hair back into a casual ponytail.


These simple tips can help you make the most of your lunch time workout sessions without having to worry about going back to work with a messy head of hair. When in doubt, it is always best to prep ahead of time and bring everything that you need to the gym with you. While improvising in a pinch is fine, it is always better to be prepared as you will not stress and you will look your best in going back to work.

This is a collaborative post

May Book Club – It Was A Loud One This Month!

May Book Club


Last month we didn’t manage to get hold of 8 copies of the same book for book club. Kaycee gave the members a book from her own library to borrow.

May Book Club

May Book Club
She organised general activities that worked for all the books, like Roll & Retell. This is where each number on the dice has a question assigned to it.

The questions work for any book and the kids take turn rolling the dice then answering the question about the book they read.

May Book Club Roll And Retell
The link above is for the download. I don’t know who created the image as I found it on Pinterest and only the download had been pinned. If this is your graphic and you’d like me to link to the original source, please let me know.


They also made bookmarks and had some non-book related games, one minute Lego challenges being one of them. It was very noisy!
Even noisier, though, was the game where they took it in turn to roll a dice and if one of them rolled a six they had to quickly put hat, gloves, coat and a scarf on. Then they had to try and unwrap a bar of chocolate with a knife and fork.
While they were doing that, the others kept on rolling and if someone rolled a six, they had to get the hat, scarf, gloves and coat of the first person and try to open the chocolate themselves.

May Book Club

As you can imagine, the noise levels went through the roof!

Ant and I spent the afternoon in the garden where it was nice and quiet. He did some gardening, I did lots of reading!

May Book Club

Kaycee organised some book club homework but I’m not sure if everyone remembered which task they’d been set. At the end of the book club, she said, “I don’t think anyone’s going to do the homework. Nevermind!”

May Book Club

May Book Club

After a few of the girls had gone home, the ones who were left went outside to release some energy. The new favourite thing to do in our back garden now is to hang upside down on the apple tree :o)

May Book Club - Hanging upside down on the apple tree

May Book Club hanging upside down on the apple tree

We went to The Works and Asda yesterday looking for some affordable books we could buy for them for book club in July. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any so I have to try and find some on the internet today.

Next month’s book club will be based on the book, Goth Girl that we reviewed earlier this month. We only have one copy so they’re having to share it!


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